The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH) will be dedicated to researching relationships between personal behavior patterns and risk for chronic disease and premature death. The overarching purpose of the Behavioral Economics and Intervention Science (BEIS) Core will be to provide VCBH investigators with scientific and technical expertise and research infrastructure in three key areas. First, the Core will assist investigators with developing and implementing incentive-based and other behavioral and pharmacological interventions to promote behavior change, taking special care to tailor these interventions to the unique characteristics of the population and risk behavior being targeted and where possible to include methods for verifying behavior change. Second, the Core will offer econometric modeling of interventions and health outcomes, including several types of health economic analyses in order to test the hypothesis that value-based incentives can lead to sustained improved outcomes and reduced costs (e.g., cost effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-benefit analyses). Third, the Core will offer expertise in the study of behavioral choice and decision making, with a special emphasis on investigating core cognitive processes that bias decision making related to health behaviors and response to interventions. Available methods will include laboratory tasks, self-report instruments, neuropsychological tests and well-validated fMRI paradigms which will permit the assessment of how core cognitive processes affect decision making and behavior. Finally, we will have center expertise in the integration of technology (web-based platforms, mobile devices) with interventions and assessments to simultaneously increase accessibility and lower costs. Considered together, the BEIS Core will provide the expertise and infrastructure necessary to support the research of the VCBH investigators now and in the future, as well as other researchers across the UVM campus.

Public Health Relevance

The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health will be dedicated to researching relationships between personal behavior and risk for chronic disease. The Behavioral Economics and Intervention Sciences Core will provide the expertise and assessments, interventions and technology necessary to support the research of the VCBH investigators as well as other investigators across the UVM campus.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
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