Prof. Blair T. Johnson, is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Social Psychology Program in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut. He leads the Systematic Health Action Research Program (SHARP) which primarily focuses on what makes individuals and communities healthy or unhealthy, using both mental and physical health indicators. His research team is working to address how best to improve health. They are working to improve self-regulation (e.g., meditation and other stress-reduction strategies), how to improve adherence to medical regimens, decrease risk for HIV, how best to reduce depression or anxiety, how much exercise can improve blood pressure or mental health, among other aspects of health.
He also investigates how interventions focused on individuals may succeed or fail based on features of the community. To achieve these goals, they creatively address problems with a wide variety of inter-disciplinary approaches. Starting with social psychology, the researchers add health, clinical, and developmental psychology; geography; communication sciences; public health; social epidemiology; sociology; graphical displays; data science; statistics; experiments; among others. SHARP also hosts the Health Psychology section of a leading journal, Social Science & Medicine.
Prof. Johnson has been an Associate Editor with Psychological Bulletin since 2015 and is a Senior Editor with Social Science & Medicine.
Primary Recipient Awards
One of Dr. Johnson’s main contributions to the field is developing an interdisciplinary theory that synthesizes contemporary thinking on networks, individuals, and resources. He developed the Network Individual Resource Model (NIR) – a model that emphasizes that risk for any individual (or network) depends reciprocally on the dynamics between individuals and networks.
He plans to connect with a wide range of scholars at UBC to work on a new theory that builds on and extends his NIR Model, developed in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention, to be both broader (i.e., applicable to more health outcomes) and more specific. The original theory of behavior bridges individual, dyadic, and structural levels. As such, it is naturally poised well to benefit from theoretical perspectives at these different levels, which also imply different but overlapping disciplines.