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Dr. Joshua Smyth

Josh Smyth

Dr. Joshua Smyth

Professor, Clinical Area


133 Psychology Building
1835 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH

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  • BA, Cognitive Science, Vassar College
  • PhD, Health Psychology, Stony Brook University

I am a health psychologist by training, and my research program is interdisciplinary and broad in scope. I am generally interested in the application of the biopsychosocial model to meaningful health-related processes, contexts, and outcomes. This is deliberatively broad, and I spend much of my effort in adapting the theories, principles, and methods of my work to enhance and enrich interdisciplinary research projects. Three areas (and the integration between them) form the bulk of my research program: (1) What are the effects of experiencing stress on psychological and physical well-being, and under what circumstances (and to what degree) can we observe such effects? (2) Can we assess stress, affect, behavior, and health in an ecologically relevant manner that facilitates our understanding of biopsychosocial processes as they unfold in time and in context? Furthermore, how can this approach (i.e., dynamic within person data capture) allow testing of novel practical and theoretical perspectives? (3) Can psychological, behavioral, and other innovative interventions improve health and well-being in both generally healthy and clinical samples? Much of my current work reflects a mechanisms-focused approach to intervention, focusing on developing innovative approaches to the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel interventions (including ‘just-in-time’ and dynamically adaptive interventions in daily life, digitally and mHealth delivered treatment, etc.). 

Essentially, as with many health psychologists, much of my work is based on trying to better understand how individuals’ experiences are “transduced” into physiological and behavioral processes of health relevance, and how we can intervene to reduce risk, enhance resilience, and enhance outcomes. Rather than focusing on a particular disease, sample, or biological process, or otherwise circumscribed topical domain, I have tried to examine integrative processes that can be applied (theoretically and/or pragmatically) to a wide array of research and clinical settings. Much of my work has been on stress, behavior, affect, behavior, peripheral psychophysiology (notably endocrine, but also sympathetic, cardiovascular, and immune products), and clinical disease outcomes; this work has been conducted in a very wide range of diverse samples, including healthy, at-risk, and chronically ill patients across the lifespan. As noted above, much of my work also involves remote and intensive data capture methodology, an approach broadly consistent with recent interest in mHealth research and forms the basis for innovative intervention delivery and/or content.


Some representative publications are below (* reflects a student/trainee author), and you can see my full publication list on Google Scholar

Smyth, J., *Zawadzki, M., & Gerin, W. (2013). Stress and disease: A structural and functional analysis. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 217–227. 

Smyth, J. & *Heron, K. (2016). Is providing mobile interventions “just-in-time” helpful? An experimental proof of concept study of just-in-time intervention for stress management. Wireless Health, 89-95. doi: 10.1109/WH.2016.7764561.

Pennebaker, J. & Smyth, J. (2016). Opening up by writing it down: How expressive writing improves health and eases emotional pain. New York, NY: Guilford.

Smyth, J. *Juth, V., Ma, J., & Sliwinski, M. (2017). A slice of life: Ecologically valid methods for research on social relationships and health across the lifespan. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11:e12356. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12356.

Smyth, J., Sliwinski, M., Zawadzki, M., Scott, S., Conroy, D., Lanza, S., *Marcusson-Clavertz, D., *Kim, J., Stawski, R., Stoney, C., Buxton, O., Sciamanna, C., Green, P., & Almeida, D. (2018). Everyday stress response targets in the science of behavior change. Behavior Research and Therapy, 101, 20-29.

Smyth J., *Johnson, J., *Auer, B., Lehman, E., Talamo, G., Sciamanna, C. (2018). Online positive affect journaling in the improvement of mental distress and well-being in general medical patients with elevated anxiety symptoms: Evidence from a preliminary randomized controlled trial. JMIR Mental Health, 5(4), e11290. doi: 10.2196/11290.

*Potter, L., Brondolo, L, & Smyth, J. (2019). Biopsychosocial correlates of discrimination in daily life: A review. Stigma and Health, 4(1), 38-61.

*Materia, F., Faasse, K., & Smyth, J. (2020). Understanding and preventing health concerns about emerging mHealth technologies. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8(5), e14375. doi: 10.2196/14375.

Smyth, J., Zawadzki, M., *Marcusson-Clavertz, D., Scott, S., *Johnson, J., *Kim, J., *Toledo, M., Stawski, R., Sliwinski, M., & Almeida, D. (2023). Computing components of everyday stress responses: Exploring conceptual challenges and new opportunities. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 18 (1), 110-124.

Stone, A., Schneider, S., & Smyth, J. (2023). Evaluation of pressing issues in Ecological Momentary Assessment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 19, 107-131.

Smyth, J. & Ebner-Priemer, U. (in press). Dispelling “pleasing myths” about the integration of ecological momentary assessment and intervention into clinical research and practice. World Psychiatry.