My research focuses on applying decision psychology and behavioral economics to inform practical problems in medical decision making. In particular, my work has applied research about judgment and decision making to the design of patient decision support tools. I am particularly interested in how the inclusion of different elements in patient decision aids either support or bias patients’ decision making processes. Previous research has focused on the impact of patient narratives in decision aids, attitudes towards the use of clinical decision support systems in medicine, and the behavioral economics of noncash incentives.
I am currently seeking applications for a two-year postdoctoral research fellow in Medical Decision Making. Materials are due January 12, 2015. Please see my lab website for details.
West Chester University, B.A., Psychology, 2000
Ohio State University, M.A., Quantitative Psychology, 2002
Ohio State University, Ph.D., Quantitative Psychology, 2005
I have a joint appointment in the Department of Health Sciences (School of Health Professions) and the Quantitative division of the Psychological Sciences Department.
Shaffer, V. A., Owens, J., & Zikmund-Fisher, B. J. (2013). The effects of narratives on information search in web-based patient decision aid. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(2), e273.
Shaffer, V. A., Hulsey, L., & Zikmund-Fisher, B. J. (2013). The effects of process-focused versus experience-focused narratives in a breast cancer decision task. Patient Education and Counseling, 93, 255-264.
Bekker, H.L., Winterbottom, A., Butow, P., Dillard A., Feldman-Stewart, D., Jibaja-Weiss, M., Shaffer, V. A., Volk, R. Using personal stories. (2013). BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 13(Suppl2), S9.
Shaffer, V. A., Templin, S., & Hulsey, L. (2013). The effect of narrative information in a publicly available patient decision aid for early stage breast cancer. Health Communication, 29(1), 64-73.
Probst, C.A, Shaffer, V. A., & Chan, Y. R.. (2013). The effect of defaults in an electronic health record on laboratory test ordering practices for pediatric patients. Health Psychology, 32(9), 995-1002.
Shaffer, V. A. & Zikmund-Fisher, B. J. (2013). All stories are not alike: A purpose-, content-, and valence-based taxonomy of patient narratives in decision aids. Medical Decision Making, 33, 4-13.
Shaffer, V. A., Probst, C. A., Merkle, E. C., Medow, M. A., & Arkes, H. R. (2013). Why do patients derogate physicians who use a computer-based diagnostic support system? Medical Decision Making, 33, 108-118.
Bekker, H.L., Winterbottom, A., Butow, P., Dillard A., Feldman-Stewart, D., Jibaja-Weiss, M., Shaffer, V. A., Volk, R. (2012). Using personal stories. In Volk R. & Llewellyn-Thomas H (Editors). 2012 Update of the International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration’s Background Document. Chapter E. http://ipdas.ohri.ca/resources.html.
Shaffer, V. A., Merkle, E. C., Fagerlin, A., Griggs, J. J., Langa, K. M., & Iwashyna, T. J. (2012). Chemotherapy is not associated with enduring cognitive decline in older adult patients with breast and colorectal cancer. Medical Care, 50(10), 849-855.
Merkle, E. C. & Shaffer, V. A. (2011). Binary recursive partitioning as an alternative to regression in Psychology. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 64, 161-181.
Medow, M. A., Arkes, H. R., & Shaffer, V. A. (2010). Specialists or decision aids: Who/what is attended to more? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25(4), 316-320.
Lambdin, C. G. & Shaffer, V. A. (2009). Are within-subjects designs transparent? Judgment and Decision Making, 4(7), 554-566.
Shaffer, V. A. & Arkes, H. R. (2009). Preference reversals in the evaluation of cash versus noncash incentives. Journal of Economic Psychology, 30, 859-872.
Shaffer, V.A. & Hulsey, L. (2009). Are patient decision aids effective? Insight from revisiting the debate between correspondence and coherence theories of judgment. Judgment and Decision Making, 4 (2), 141-146.
Arkes, H. R., Shaffer, V. A. & Medow, M. A. (2008). The influence of a physician’s use of a diagnostic decision aid on the malpractice verdicts of mock jurors. Medical Decision Making, 28 (2), 201-208 .
Shaffer, V. A. & Shaffer, L. S. (2007). The use of recipe knowledge in medicine. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 2 (7), 73-80.
Arkes, H. R., Shaffer, V. A., & Medow, M. A. (2007). Patients derogate physicians who use a computer-assisted diagnostic aid. Medical Decision Making, 27 (2), 189-202.
Jeffrey, S. A. & Shaffer, V. A. (2007). The motivational properties of tangible incentives. Compensation and Benefits Review, 39, 44-50.
Arkes, H. R., Shaffer, V. A., & Dawes, R. (2006). Comparing holistic and disaggregated ratings in the evaluation of scientific presentations. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 19, 429-439.
Robles, T. R., Shaffer, V. A., Malarkey, W. B., Glaser, R., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2006). Positive behaviors during marital conflict: Influences on stress hormones. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 23(2), 305-325.
Arkes, H. R. & Shaffer, V.A. (2006). Should we use decision aids or gut feelings? In C. Engel and G. Gigerenzer (Eds.), Heuristics and the law. Dahlem Workshop Report 94. (pp. 411-424) Cambridge, M.A.: The MIT Press.