Staff: Pat E. Boyd, Ph.D.
Pat E. Boyd, Ph.D.
Cancer Research Training Award Fellow
Patrick (Pat) Boyd, Ph.D., was a Cancer Research Training Award fellow in the Behavioral Research Program's Health Behaviors Research Branch (HBRB) from 2019 to 2022.
Dr. Boyd's research examined how the anxiety stemming from the awareness of one's mortality is managed by individuals possessing high (and low) levels of openness. He was interested in how openness can predict one's receptivity to a variety of health communications, particularly how it can facilitate one's interest in health messages that are framed as new or novel. He was also concerned with how openness informs one's willingness to engage in healthy sleep-related behaviors if sleep is viewed as a practice that can facilitate a breadth and depth of intellectual and experiential opportunities.
Dr. Boyd also researched how mortality concerns can impact food consumption behaviors, specifically how female dieting behaviors interact with mortality concerns to inform if healthy or harmful food consumption behaviors occur. He also studied how mortality reminders impact preferences for organic or conventional food items.
A social psychologist by training, Dr. Boyd received his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He received his M.A. in social psychology from San Francisco State University, and his B.A. in psychology from the University of Southern California.
"Where are they now?": Following up with past BRP fellows
Updated February 2022
Senior Analytics and Research Scientist
How has your BRP fellowship influenced your career?
The BRP fellowship has afforded me countless opportunities to collaborate with others within and outside of the program over the past three years. The fellowship connected me with many esteemed researchers who encouraged me to apply my unique perspective as an existential social psychologist to different research areas. I have been able to see firsthand how the theoretical research I conducted in graduate school can be applied in clinical settings and toward program initiatives that are far-reaching. In short, the breadth of projects I have been able to lead or be part of has given me the confidence to know that I can apply my training in a variety of ways that can meaningfully impact patient and population level outcomes.
Describe a favorite memory or two from your fellowship experience.
My first favorite memory as a fellow was attending a farewell party for another fellow at the house of a program director. Many others within BRP attended, and it was great to see how folks within the program genuinely cared about one another and got along. Another bittersweet but favorite memory was how supportive and kind everyone was to me after I got into a relatively serious bicycle accident. For example, one program director provided a list of bicycle riding jokes while I was in recovery that gave me quite the laugh.
Describe your current position, your current organization, and what you do.
My current position is a Senior Analytics and Research Scientist at Press Ganey, a company that does patient experience research. I help design, create, and validate surveys that are disseminated to patients, providers, and caregivers to inform patient experiences in hospitals and healthcare settings.
Awards, Honors, and Recognitions
- Collaborative Research Award for Fellows in Training (CRAFT) Award (2020) for "Perceptions of and Barriers to Time-Restricted Eating for weight management" research project
- Internal Funding from the Behavioral Research Program (2019) for "Effects of personality and cancer survivorship status (and family history of cancer) on willingness to engage in clinical trials and physician avoidance" research project
Current and/or past BRP mentors include Kara Hall and Susan Czajkowski.
Selected Publications and Presentations
- Boyd P, Murray AB, Hyams T, Sleight AG, Moser RP, Arndt J, Czajkowski SM, Hall K. Neuroticism, cancer mortality salience, and physician avoidance in cancer survivors: Proximity of treatment matters. Psychooncology 2021 Nov 7.
- O'Connor SG, Boyd P, Bailey CP, Shams-White MM, Agurs-Collins T, Hall K, Reedy J, Sauter ER, Czajkowski SM. Perspective: Time-Restricted Eating Compared with Caloric Restriction: Potential Facilitators and Barriers of Long-Term Weight Loss Maintenance. Adv Nutr 2021 Mar 31; 12(2):325-333.
- Boyd P, Lowry M, Morris KL, Land SR, Agurs-Collins T, Hall K, Byrd DA, Perna FM. Health Behaviors of Cancer Survivors and Population Controls From the National Health Interview Survey (2005-2015). JNCI Cancer Spectr 2020 May 19; 4(5).
- Sleight AG, Boyd P, Klein WMP, Jensen RE. Spiritual peace and life meaning may buffer the effect of anxiety on physical well-being in newly diagnosed cancer survivors. Psychooncology 2021 Jan; 30(1):52-58.
- Courtney EP, Goldenberg JL, Boyd P. The contagion of mortality: A terror management health model for pandemics. Br J Soc Psychol 2020 Jul; 59(3):607-617.