Seth M. Noar’s areas of research interest are health behavior theories, message design and mass media campaigns, and eHealth applications. His primary focus is using mediated health communication to improve prevention-related behaviors that result in reduced disease incidence (e.g., cancer, HIV/AIDS) in at-risk populations. His work involves understanding and applying behavioral theories that advance our understanding of the behavior change process; testing message design theories and frameworks to best understand what types of messages will be most resonant and persuasive with target audiences; and evaluating interventions in randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs in the field. Dr. Noar has also extensively applied meta-analytic methods to advance our understanding of effective interventions and potential “active ingredients” that underlie those interventions.
Dr. Noar is a professor in the School of Media and Journalism, where he Co-Directs the Interdisciplinary Health Communication program. He is also a member of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He attained his PhD in psychology at the University of Rhode Island and served as a faculty member for several years in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Noar has published more than 125 articles and chapters in a wide range of outlets in the social, behavioral, health, and communication sciences, and he serves on the editorial boards of several leading communication journals. He is the editor of two books, the most recent (with co-editor Dr. Nancy Harrington) being “eHealth Applications: Promising Strategies for Behavior Change,” published by Routlege. In 2014, Dr. Noar was recognized by Thomson Reuters as among the top 1% most cited researchers in the social sciences. In 2016, Dr. Noar was awarded the Lewis Donohew Outstanding Health Communication Scholar award and the National Communication Association’s Outstanding Health Communication Scholar award.