Heather Scherschel Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Heather Scherschel

Parmly 234


Ph.D. - University of Minnesota, 2016
B.A. - Indiana University, 2008


I am interested in the self-regulation of dietary behaviors. Specifically, I am interested in how we can make small changes to our environment to increase the likelihood of making healthy eating decisions. Additionally, I have been researching the ability of comfort food to "comfort" us. In particular, I have been investigating the circumstances under which comfort foods would alleviate negative emotions and plan to better determine why comfort foods might be effective with only certain forms of negative affect.


PSYC 114: Introduction to Social Psychology
PSYC 395A: Health Psychology

Selected Publications

Wagner, H. Scherschel, Howland, M., & Mann, T. (2015). Effects of subtle and explicit health messages on food choice. Health Psychology, 34(1), 79-82.
Wagner, H. Scherschel, Ahlstrom, B., Redden, J. P., Vickers, Z., & Mann, T. (2014). The myth of comfort food. Health Psychology, 33(12), 1552-1557.

Research Focus

My main research focus in on the self-regulation of dietary behaviors. In particular, my work focuses on how we can make smaller changes, which don't rely on willpower, to our environment or perceptions to maintain our health goals. Currently, I am investigating the role of comfort food to regulate our emotions: In which situations does comfort food repair our negative mood? Why does comfort food alleviate negative affect in some circumstances and not others? What are the consequences of the belief and reliance on comfort foods to improve our moods? What small changes can we make to improve our mood without relying on consuming our comfort food?