Thomas Green

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Randall Jorgensen

Honors Reader

Dr. Kevin Antshel

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Health Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology


In our evolving world, new technologies and practices are frequently introduced to society and assimilated into daily life. People often form concerns about how these new technologies, and other types of change, affect public health and the surrounding environment. This paper aims to form a better understanding of Modern Health Worries (MHW). Two studies were conducted: one investigating personality correlates of the MHW scale, and a second examining the covariation of the MHW scale with participants’ valence and arousal ratings of images of MHWs selected in terms categories presented in the literature.

Undergraduate students at Syracuse University (n=143) took part in the first study where they completed a series of online questionnaires measuring personality factors and MHWs. Results of the first study indicated that openness to experience moderates the relationship between MHW and neuroticism.

The second study was also comprised of undergraduate students at Syracuse University (n=27). In this exploratory study, participants completed the same questionnaires, but also rated images corresponding to specific MHWs based on valence and arousal. Findings suggest that as an individual reports higher levels of MHW, he or she reports experiencing more negative valence from images corresponding to MHWs. In addition, the second study found that participants rated images of environmental pollution and water contamination with the most negative valence.

Future research in the area of MHWs should take into account these associations. In addition, the specific images with high ratings for negative valence should be used in future cue reactivity studies about MHWs.

Key Words: Modern Health Worry, Personality, Openness to experience, Neuroticism, Valence, and Agreeableness

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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