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Dr. Valerie Reyna - Communicating the Gist of Risk and Uncertainty

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April 6, 2023 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM


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Dr. Valerie Reyna
Professor of Psychology
Cornell University


Communicating the Gist of Risk and Uncertainty

Suggested reading

Reyna V. A Scientific Theory of Gist Communication and Misinformation Resistance, with Implications for Health, Education, and PolicyPNAS. 2021

Reyna V, et al. Supporting Health and Medical Decision Making: Findings and Insights from Fuzzy-Trace TheoryMed Decis Making. 2022


The seminar is hosted by the co-chairs of the NCI Risk Communication Working Group (RCWG): Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P., Communications Team Director, DCEG, and Paul Han, M.D., M.A., M.P.H., Senior Scientist, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, and adjunct investigator in DCEG with the Clinical Epidemiology Unit.

The RCWG is a cross-division working group committed to enhancing understanding of the science of risk communication and improving the quality of NCI’s efforts to communicate risk information to lay and professional audiences. Participants in the working group come from DCCPS and DCEG, the Division of Cancer Prevention, and the NCI Office for Communications and Public Liaison. For more information contact Paul Han or Jennifer Loukissas.

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About Dr. Reyna

Dr. Valerie Reyna is the Lois and Melvin Tukman Professor of Psychology, Director of the Human Neuroscience Institute, and Co-director of the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research at Cornell University. Her research integrates brain and behavioral approaches to understand and improve judgment, decision-making, and memory across the life-span, with a special focus on decisions involving risk and uncertainty. Most recently, many of her activities have involved risk communication related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including advising the American Psychological Association, National Academies, and World Health Organization. She is a developer of fuzzy-trace theory, a model of the relation between mental representations and decision-making that has been widely applied in law, medicine, and public health. She has served on the Board of the Society for Neuroeconomics and is an Editor for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Reyna is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.