Staff Information

Assistant Professor

Kristel M. Gallagher, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department or Division: Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Office Location: Ward Hall - Room 308


Phone Number: (570) 945-8370

What makes Keystone special to me?
"The Keystone community is truly one of a kind. Faculty, staff, and students alike welcome you with smiles, warmth, and a genuine attitude of kindness. They take the time to get to know your name, your story, and you as a whole person. The Keystone community is a family that looks out for one another and I am proud to be part of that family!"

Photo of Kristel Gallagher

Visit my Social Psychology Network.


  • Ph.D. in Experimental Social and Health Psychology (2012) – Kent State University, Kent, OH
  • M.A. in Experimental Social and Health Psychology (2009) – Kent State University, Kent, OH
  • B.A. in Psychology (2007) – Waynesburg University, Waynesburg, PA

Research Interests

How do we motivate people to live healthy lives and make healthy choices? This “million dollar” question is what guides my research, in addition to being a focal point for many top national health organizations. I am a social and health psychologist, which means I apply theories and principles from the field of social psychology to the promotion of healthy behaviors. In particular, I am interested in the promotion of behaviors related to obesity – physical activity and diet.

Some of the issues I have examined include:

  • How our choice of ‘wording’ in health messages influences persuasion (i.e., should we tell people the benefits of performing a health behavior or the consequences of not performing it?).
  • What kinds of exercise ‘outcomes’ are most persuasive (i.e., should we tell people how exercise will affect them physically and socially or emotionally and mentally?).
  • How our motivation to be healthy changes over time (i.e., should we send a unique message to older adults about the benefits of being healthy?).

Published Papers

  • Emanuel, A.S., McCully, S.N., Gallagher, K.M., & Updegraff, J.A. (2012). Theory of planned behavior explains gender difference in fruit and vegetable consumption. Appetite.
  • Gallagher, K.M. & Updegraff, J.A. (2012). Health message framing effects on attitudes, intentions, and behavior: A meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 43 (1), 101-116.
  • Gallagher, K.M., Updegraff, J.A., Rothman, A., & Sims, L. (2011). Perceived susceptibility to breast cancer moderates the effect of gain- and loss-framed messages on use of screening mammography. Health Psychology, 30 (2), 145-152.
  • Gallagher, K.M. & Updegraff, J.A. (2011). When “fit” leads to fit, and when “fit” leads to fat: How message framing and intrinsic v. extrinsic exercise outcomes interact in promoting physical activity. Psychology and Health, 26 (7), 819-834.
  • Updegraff, J. A., Emanuel, A. S., Gallagher, K. M., & Steinman, C. (2011). Brief report: Framing flu prevention - An experimental field test of signs promoting hand hygiene during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic. Health Psychology, 30 (3), 295-299.
  • Updegraff, J. A., Emanuel, A. S., Suh, E. M., & Gallagher, K. M. (2010). Sheltering the self from the storm: Self-construal abstractness and the stability of self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 97-108.

Courses Taught

  • General Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Research Methods for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Research Implementation and Analysis