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Michelle McDowell

Michelle McDowell

mcdowell [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de
+49 (0)30 824 06 722
227
Research Scientist

 

Curriculum Vitae

 

Michelle McDowell is a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy. Her research focuses on promoting balanced and transparent risk communication formats to facilitate medical decision making for patients and health professionals. Her recent focus has been on determining how best to summarise medical evidence to support understanding, and to address challenges to the translation of evidence for use in decision tools. She is interested in improving the visual communication of information, and designing more ecological presentation formats that improve comprehension. She is also interested in understanding what people know about the risks they face in the digital world. She works closely with health organizations to promote and design effective risk communication tools and to better understand how people make health decisions. She has presented her work at numerous international conferences and has been invited to speak as a representative of the Harding Center to broad professional and public audiences.

 

2016 Research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Berlin, Germany
2012-2015 Postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Berlin, Germany
2011–2012 Research fellow, Griffith Health Institute, Area of Strategic Investment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
2011 PhD, Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology), Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
2010 Graduate Certificate in Research Management, Southern Cross University, Tweed Heads, Australia
2005 Bachelor of Psychology, First Class Honours, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

 

Selected Publications

 

McDowell, M., Galesic, M., & Gigerenzer, G. (2018). Natural frequencies do foster public understanding of medical tests: Comment on Pighin, Gonzales, Savadori and Girotto (2016). Medical Decision Making. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0272989X18754508

Taylor, B. J., Stevenson, M., & McDowell, M. (2018). Communicating risk in dementia care: Survey of health and social care professionals. Health & Social Care in the Community, 26, e291-e303. doi:10.1111/hsc.12519

Stevenson, M., McDowell, M. E., & Taylor, B. J. (2018). Concepts for communication about risk in dementia care: A review of the literature. Dementia, 17, 359-390. doi:10.1177/1471301216647542

McDowell, M. & Jacobs, P. (2017). Meta-analysis of the effect of natural frequencies on Bayesian reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 1273-1312. doi: 10.1037/bul0000126.

McDowell, M., Rebitschek, F., Gigerenzer, G., & Wegwarth, O. (2016). A simple tool for communicating the benefits and harms of health interventions: A guide for creating a Fact Box. MDM Policy & Practice (1), 1-10.

McDowell, ME. (2016). Making sense of numbers about health risks – The fact box. In G. Elywyn, A. Edwards, & R. Thompson (Eds.), Shared decision-making in health care: Achieving evidence- based patient choice (3rd ed.) (pp.123-128). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S., Gardiner, R. A., & Chambers, S. K. (2013) Prevalence and predictors of cancer specific distress in men with a family history of prostate cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 22 (11), 2496-2504.

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S., & Chambers, S. K. (2013) Classifying the reasons men consider to be important in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing decisions: Evaluating risks, lay beliefs, and informed decisions. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 46 (3), 322-335.

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S., & Chambers, S. K. (2013). The influence of family history on cognitive heuristics, risk perception, and prostate cancer screening behavior. Health Psychology, 32 (11), 1158-1169.

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S., Ferguson, M., Dunn, J., Chambers, S. K. (2010). Predictors of change in unmet supportive care needs in cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 19: 508-516.

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S., Gardiner, R. A., Baade, P., Steginga, S. (2009). A review of PSA screening prevalence and risk perceptions for first-degree relatives of men with prostate cancer. European Journal of Cancer Care, 18 (6), 545-555.

 

Selected Presentations

 

McDowell, M. (2016, October). Information representations to boost statistical literacy. Paper presented at the Herbert Simon Society (HSS 2016) conference, Turin, Italy.

McDowell, M. (2016, September). A meta-analysis of the effect of natural frequencies on Bayesian reasoning. Paper presented at the 50. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie, Leipzig, Germany.

McDowell, M. (2015, October).  Less is More: Transparency Instead of Information Overload. Plenary at The 23rd Cochrane Colloquium, Vienna, Austria.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRc5whjX8Hc&index=6&list=PLCo8P5_ppmQgoKl5ofhvBn-0yZnylWoMD

McDowell, M. (2015, June).  How to improve risk literacy in 3 minutes.  Long Night of the Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Human Development. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoTLrfV4Hjs

McDowell, M., Jacobs, P. (2015, August).  Twenty years of natural frequencies: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of natural frequencies on Bayesian reasoning.  Paper presented at the Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making Conference, Budapest, Hungary.

McDowell, M. (2014, October).  Developing simple decision tools for patients.  Invited talk at University of Leeds, United Kingdom.  

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S. & Chambers, S. K. (2014, June).  Risk perception and uncertainty in health contexts: The role of personal experience with prostate cancer on risk perceptions, screening behavior, and the implications for risk communication.  Paper presented at the Society for Risk Analysis conference, Istanbul, Turkey.

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S. & Chambers, S. K. (2013, August).  Understanding prostate cancer screening behavior: Family history, cognitive heuristics, and perceptions of risk.  Paper presented at the Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making Conference, Barcelona, Spain.

McDowell, M., Occhipinti, S. & Chambers, S. K. (2012, June). Preventing prostate cancer through early detection: The importance of understanding how men integrate information about prostate cancer into judgements about risk and screening. Paper presented at the International Conference on Language and Social Psychology, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

 

Selected Awards

 

Awarded the 2016 Best Poster Prize at the EbM Kongress, Gemeinsam informiert entscheiden, Universität Zu Köln: Rauwolf, G., McDowell, M., Okan, Y., & Ziegler, M. “Grün = gesund? Über die Farbwirkung bei der Benutzung von Icon Arrays.”