Dylan Smith, PhD

Associate Professor

Emotional Adaptation to Illness and Disability
Interpersonal Relationship Factors that Influence Health and Well-Being
Quality of Life Measurement (including Psychometric Development of New Measurement Techniques)
Psychological Factors (e.g., Forecasting Errors, Stigmatization) in Perceptions of Illness and Disability

Office Phone: (631) 638-2021

Dylan Smith is an Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (BS, Psychology) and Arizona State University (MA and PhD, Social Psychology). He completed a two year post doctoral training position at the University of Kansas. Dylan previously held the position of Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, where he worked in the multi-disciplinary Center for Behavioral Sciences in Medicine. Other past positions include Health Science Specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ann Arbor, and core faculty member of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Michigan.

Dylan joined the faculty at Stony Brook University in December, 2009. His research interests include the use of social cognitive principles to study resilience and adaptation in the context of disability and illness, including implications for medical decision making and social policy. Specifically, he examines how one’s social context—including factors such as compassionate (care giving) goals—influence health and emotional resilience. With fellow Center faculty member Stephanie Brown, he has collaborated on several studies that demonstrated clear and strong benefits of having compassionate goals for one’s physical and psychological health. Currently, he and Dr. Brown are working to identify the neuro-physiological pathways underlying these benefits.

He also explores how cognitions and beliefs about health and physical functioning affect decision making—that is, how evaluations of different health states affect decisions about treatments and allocation of resources. More generally, he is interested in empirical approaches that can inform policy and bioethical questions. For example he applies social cognitive principles toward improving our understanding of quality of life, with an eye toward enhancing our ability to test theories of adaptation and resilience, but also with the goal of improving the quality of information available to health policy decision makers—and informing the current debate over what should be the primary criteria for evaluating the effects of health policies.

Dylan received an early career development award from the Department of Veterans affairs, and has received grant awards from the National Institute on Aging (NIH) to study the interplay between symptoms--such as pain or fatigue--and emotional experiences in older, chronically ill adults.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Smith, D.M., Langa, K.M., Kabeto, M.U., & Ubel, P.A. Health, wealth, and happiness: Financial resources buffer subjective well-being after the onset of a disability. Psychological Science, 16: 663-666, 2005.

Smith D.M., Sherriff R.L., Damschroder L.J., Loeenstein G., & Ubel P.A. Misremembering colostomies? Former patients give lower utility ratings for colostomy than do current patients. Health Psychology, 25(6): 688-694, 2006.

Damschroder, L.J., Ubel, P.A., Riis, J. & Smith, D.M. An Alternative Approach for Eliciting Willingness-to-Pay: A Randomized Internet Trial. Judgment and Decision Making, 2(2): 18-28, 2007.

Smith, D.M., Loewenstein, G., Rozin, P., Sherriff, RL, & Ubel, PA. Sensitivity to disgust, stigma, and adjustment to life with a colostomy. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(4): 787-803, 2007.

Smith, D.M., Brown, S.L., & Ubel, P.A. Are subjective well being measures any better than decision utility measures? Health Economics, Policy and Law. 2008;3(1):85-92.

Brown, S.L, House, J.S., Brown, M. R., Smith, D. M. Coping with spousal loss: The buffering effects of helping behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2008;34(6):849-861.

Murphy, S.L., Smith, D.M., Clauw, D.J., Alexander, N.B. The impact of momentary pain and fatigue on physical activity. Arthritis Care and Research. 2008;59(6):849-856.

Murphy, S.L., Smith, D.M., Alexander, N.B. Measuing activity pacing in women with osteoarthritis: A pilot study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2008;62(3):329-334.

Smith, D.M., Brown, S.L., & Ubel, P.A. Mispredictions and misrecollections: Challenges for subjective outcome measurement. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2008;30(6):418-424.

Smith, D.M., Loewenstein, G., Jankovich, S., Jepson, C., Feldman, H., & Ubel, PA. Mispredicting and misremembering: Patients overestimate improvements in quality of life after renal transplant. Health Psychology. 2008; 27(5): 653-658

Lacey, H.P., Fagerlin, A., Loewenstein, G., Smith, D.M., Ubel, P.A. Are they really that happy? Exploring scale recalibration in estimates of well-being. Health Psychology. 2008; 27(6): 669-675.

Brown SL, Smith DM, Schultz R, Kabeto M, Ubel PA, Yee J, Kim C, Langa K. Caregiving behavior is associated with decreased mortality risk. Psychological Science. 20(4): 488-494, 2009.

Murphy, S.L. & Smith, D.M. Fatigue in Daily Activities: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Measure of Fatigability in Older Adults with Osteoarthritis. Journal of Gerontology A, 65(2) 184-189, 2009.

Smith, D.M., Loewenstein, G., Jankovich, & Ubel, PA. Happily hopeless: Adaptation to a permanent, but not to a temporary disability. Health Psychology, 28(6): 787-791, 2009.

Iwashyna, TJ, Ely, EW, Smith, DM, & Langa, KM. Long-term Cognitive Impairment and Functional Disability Among Survivors of Severe Sepsis. JAMA, 304(16) 1787-1794, 2010.

Smith, DM. Measures of Time Use and Well Being in survey research. (In Press). Forum for Health Economics and Policy.

Smith, D.M. Brown, SL, and Rigdon M, (forthcoming, 2011). Economic implications of a human caregiving system. In S.L. Brown, M. Brown, and L. Penner (Eds.), Moving Beyond Self-interest, New York, Oxford University Press.

Ubel, P.A., Peeters, Y., Smith, D.M. Abandoning the language of "response shift": a plea for conceptual clarity in distinguishing scale recalibration from true changes in quality of life. Quality of Life Research, 19: 465-471, 2010

National Presentations

Smith, DM. “Helping others as a protective factor that promotes physiological resilience to stress.” Paper presented at Association for Psychological Science's 23rd Annual Meeting, Washington DC 05/11.