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My research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets - the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted - can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. My work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a remarkable and consistent demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body. I am interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes outside the realm of medicine, in the domains of behavioral health and organizational behavior. More specifically, I aim to understand how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect organizational and individual performance, physiological and psychological well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness.
https://mbl.stanford.edu/Our lab focuses on how subjective mindsets (e.g., thoughts, beliefs and expectations) can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. Our work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a robust demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body. We are interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes both within and beyond the realm of medicine, in the domains such as exercise, diet and stress. More specifically, we aim to understand how selective information through modalities such as media, marketing and labeling can inform mindsets, and how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect physiological and psychological health. Our research draws upon and integrates the psychology of schemas and appraisals within a range of disciplines including the science of the placebo effect, the behavioral economics of framing, and the sociology of valuation. We collaborate with an interdisciplinary web of scholars including psychologists, sociologists, organizational behavior scholars, and neurobiologists and employ a variety of methods, from experimental studies to surveys to field interventions. Though our approach is interdisciplinary and our methods multi-modal, our focus is precise: to bring together related streams of research to a) understand how mindsets shape reality and b) design interventions that can positively change health, performance and wellbeing.
Leveraging Mindsets to Improve Health and Wellbeing in Patients With Cancer
Mindsets have been rigorously studied in the domains of development, education, and more
recently, in health and disease. However, there are no large-scale longitudinal studies of
the mindsets held by cancer patients and how they may affect treatment outcomes, physical
health, and psychological well-being. This randomized, single-blind, treatment-as-usual (TAU)
control study aims to assess (1) mindsets at four time points spanning from the point of
diagnosis to six weeks post-treatment to patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer and
undergoing treatment with curative intent, and (2) the impact of a brief but targeted mindset
intervention to help instill more useful mindsets about the nature of cancer and the role of
the body on patient reported measures of physical and psychological health. This study aims
to add to the existing literature on psychosocial interventions for cancer patients and
survivors while addressing the substantial time and cost limitations of traditional
interventions. It also contributes to the body of research indicating that mindsets play an
important role in both health and wellbeing.
This study has two secondary objectives. First, we aim to determine the impact of patient
mindsets on measures of treatment (treatment efficacy and treatment related adverse events)
and psychosocial health (stress, coping, mood, emotions). Second, we aim to understand the
relationship between patient mindsets and biomarkers of immune and inflammatory processes in
patients undergoing cancer treatment
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact SPECTRUM, .
View full details
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Alia J Crum, PhD, 650-725-2418.
Stanford Clinics Physician Mindset Training
Mindsets play an important role in motivating and shaping health behavior and outcomes. For
example, when patients have the mindset that a treatment will work, they are more likely to
adhere to treatment medications and the treatment itself becomes more effective as a result
of this mindset. Providers have an opportunity to shape important patient mindsets as part of
clinical care, and these mindsets may influence patients' adherence to medication, screening
and vaccination recommendations, and diet, exercise, and treatment recommendations that can
help patients manage chronic illness. To help care teams capitalize on the potential of
leveraging mindsets in medicine and improve patient health behavior and outcomes, we
developed and implemented the Medicine Plus Mindset Training as part of Primary Care 2.0.
Built on more than two decades of research, this training program (a) Informs Primary Care
teams about the power of patient mindsets in shaping treatment outcomes (b) Provides care
teams with a language and framework to identify which patient mindsets may be at play (i.e.
patient mindsets about illness, treatment, their body, and the provider/care team) and (c)
Equips care teams with skills and techniques to effectively shape patient mindsets to improve
health outcomes. By motivating care teams to recognize patient mindsets that may be hindering
health behavior change (such as "this illness is a catastrophe") or medication adherence
(such as "this medication is going to cause side effects"), care teams become better equipped
to help their patients adopt more useful mindsets (such as "this treatment will work," "this
illness is manageable," "my body is capable," and "I am in good hands").