Stephen Wilson



Professor of Psychology
311 Moore Building University Park, Pa 16802
(814) 865-6219


Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2008

Professional Bio

Research Interest

My graduate training was in the areas of clinical and biological/health psychology and cognitive neuroscience. My research interests reflect this interdisciplinary background. Along with a fantastic group of students and staff, I study substance use and other types of behavior that negatively affect health. Our research combines theories and methods from the fields of psychology and neuroscience. One major focus of our work is cigarette smoking, which is a form of substance use that is particularly harmful and costly. Our current projects in this area are largely organized around three interrelated questions: First, what causes people to fail when they try to quit smoking (or to forgo quitting in the first place)? Second, how do certain individual differences (e.g., sex, personality traits) make people more or less successful at quitting smoking? Third, what are the best strategies to teach people to make them more successful when trying to quit smoking? Although much of our research focuses on cigarette smoking, we view our work as highly relevant to drug addiction and other behaviors that have a negative impact on health. Recently, our work has expanded to begin exploring some of these related behavioral domains, with an emphasis on overeating and overweight/obesity. You can learn more about the research being conducted in the Addiction, Smoking, and Health Laboratory by using this link to visit our lab website.

Representative Publications

Chung, Y. I., White, R., Geier, C. F., Johnston, S. J., Smyth, J. M., Delgado, M. R., McKee, S. A., & Wilson, S. J. (2023). Testing the efficacy of real-time fMRI neurofeedback for training people who smoke daily to upregulate neural responses to nondrug rewards. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 23(2), 440-456.

Huang. S., Furer, M. L., Smyth, J. M., & Wilson, S. J. (2023). Associations between affect and craving as a function of smoking opportunity in young adults who smoke 1-5 cigarettes per day. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 243, 109717.

Lydon-Staley, D.M., MacLean, R.R., Falk, E.B., Bassett, D.S., & Wilson, S.J. (2021). The feasibility of an in-scanner smoking lapse paradigm to examine the neural correlates of lapses. Addiction Biology, 26(4), e13001.

Wilson, S. J. (2022). Constructing craving: Applying the theory of constructed emotion to urge states. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 31(4), 347-354.



Primary Investigator:

Program Areas:

Adult Clinical