With an emphasis on appetitive psychology, Shane Reader has designed, deployed, and published a variety of studies to tease apart the separate contributions of affect, cognition, and behavior to health-related choices and decision-making. These studies have been published in competitive journals, such as Appetite.
While the behavioral outcome, choosing whether or not to have that second slice of pizza, can appear mundane, a variety of factors influence an individual's food choices, including conditioning, homeostatic drives, hedonic value, body image, and even affective evaluations — the latter of which remain poorly understood in the context of appetite. Shane Reader’s research demonstrates that participants demonstrate strong unpleasant implicit attitudes toward obesogenic food on the Implicit Association Test, orthogonal to their BMI or propensity toward food addiction. This effect persists for both lexical and visual stimuli. Interestingly, semantic priming modestly but reliably alters IAT response times, suggesting that the IAT is a reflection of available lexical associations, rather than an intrinsic attitude.
This research was presented and won first place in the TAMUCC 3-Minute Thesis Competition.
These studies were funded by a Research Enhancement Grant from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
While researchers have demonstrated a variety of ways to help an individual decrease consumption of obesogenic food, few studies have explored methods to increase compensatory consumption of nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods. Limited research suggests that cognitive reappraisal, the process by which one changes the subjective meaning of a stimulus to alter its emotional impact, may be a functional regulatory strategy in select situations, including obesogenic food consumption. Participants in the present study who endorsed greater capacity to increase appetite for low-calorie foods also reported greater real-world appetite for low-calorie foods and decreased consumption of high-calorie foods.
As the Senior Project Coordinator for Epidemiology & Population Sciences in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Shane Reader contributes to the deployment of local, regional, and national studies into topics as diverse as the genetic etiology of cancer, social and ethnic disparities in the distribution of hepatitis, and chemical exposures from Hurricane Harvey. Additionally, Shane Reader supports the Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The goal of Shane Reader’s research is to produce reliable, practical, scalable programs and interventions that promote health and opportunity in our community. This includes managing high-impact disease prevention programs, engaging communities with health education and outreach, serving on organizations that shape health policy, and integrating the interests of diverse stake-holders tackling complex health deficits.
As the Senior Project Coordinator for Epidemiology & Population Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Shane Reader coordinates the development and deployment of programs that directly screen, treat, and navigate underserved communities; implement lasting changes in local healthcare systems that persist after the lifetime of their original grants; and evaluates the healthcare needs and challenges endemic to our community.
Shane Reader manages community health education programs, serves on health policy organizations such as the Viral Hepatitis Task Force of Houston, and engages residents in evidence-based health discussions at professional and volunteer events throughout the community.