Seth M. Noar, PhD, MA, joined the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in July 2011. He also is a member of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Noar’s research interest areas are centered in health communication, particularly how to harness traditional and new media to promote healthy behavioral changes among individuals and communities. This type of research 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 carefully designed randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs in the field.
To date, much of Noar’s research has been focused in the HIV/AIDS area. He has worked on National Institutes of Health projects developing and evaluating televised media campaigns to increase safer sexual behaviors. He was the Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health-funded project testing the ability of a computer-delivered intervention to increase correct and consistent condom use among African Americans visiting an STD clinic.
At UNC, Noar plans to continue his health communication research, with a particular focus on cancer prevention among at-risk populations in North Carolina. Along those lines, he has recently begun working with the National Cancer Institute on an initiative to gather the most valid and reliable behavioral measures for cancer-oriented behaviors such as smoking cessation, diet, physical activity and colorectal cancer screening, which will be shared with the research community and applied in future studies.
Before coming to Carolina, Noar was an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky. He had a secondary appointment in the UK College of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior.
Noar has co-edited two books, “Communication Perspectives on HIV/AIDS for the 21st Century” (2008) with Drs. Timothy Edgar and Vicki Freimuth and “eHealth Applications: Promising Strategies for Behavior Change” (forthcoming in 2012) with Dr. Nancy Harrington. His work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals that include “Human Communication Research,” “Health Communication,” “Journal of Health Communication,” “Health Education & Behavior,” “AIDS & Behavior,” “AIDS” and “Psychological Bulletin,” among others.
(From Carolina J-school News August 2011)