Dr. Mehl is a social and health psychologist with interest in psychosocial oncology. In his role as Associate Investigator at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, he collaborates with other members of the cancer center (e.g., Karen Weihs) on studies around how everyday social interactions are related to coping with cancer. In most collaborations, he oversees the implementation of the Electronically Activated Recorder or EAR method, a naturalistic observation method for studying everyday social interactions. As the developer of the EAR method, Dr. Mehl has extensive experience in the administration of the EAR, the coding of the sound files, and the management and analysis of the EAR data. Further,he has extensively published about and given workshops on the method. Finally, as a trained social/personality and health psychologist, Dr. Mehl has pertinent research expertise in the area of social integration and health.
Dr. Mehl joined the faculty of the Psychology Department of the University of Arizona in 2004 where he is currently a tenured Associate Professor. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and an Associate Investigator at the Arizona Cancer Center. His prior EAR research has been published in various high impact journals (incl. Science, Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Assessment, and Health Psychology) and has been funded, among other sources, by the American Cancer Society and the NIH (National Cancer Institute, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development).
Dr. Mehl is interested in the role that people’s daily social lives play in coping with upheavals. A thread that runs through his research is an emphasis on ecological validity and the development of behavioral assessment strategies that can complement psychology’s reliance on self-reports. His work in this area has focused on naturalistic observation and quantitative text analysis.
- Mehl, M. R., Pennebaker, J. W., Crow, M. D., Dabbs, J., & Price, J. H. (2001). The Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR): A device for sampling naturalistic daily activities and conversations. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 33, 517–523.
- Mehl, M. R., & Holleran, S. E. (2007). An empirical analysis of the obtrusiveness of and participants’ compliance with the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 23, 248-257.
- Mehl, M. R. & Robbins, M. L. (2012). Naturalistic observation sampling: The Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR). In M. R. Mehl & T. S. Conner (Eds.), Handbook of research methods for studying daily life. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
- Mehl, M. R., Robbins, M. L., & Deters, g. F. (2012). Naturalistic observation of health-relevant social processes: The Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) methodology in psychosomatics. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74, 410-417.
- Carey, A. L., Brucks, M., Küfner, A. C. P., Holtzman, N., Deters, F. g., Back, M. D., Donnellan, B., Pennebaker, J. W., & Mehl, M. R. (2015). Narcissism and the use of personal pronouns revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000029
- Mehl, M. R., Vazire, S., Ramírez-Esparza, N., Slatcher, R. B., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2007). Are women really more talkative than men? Science, 317, 82.
- Pennebaker, J. W., Mehl, M. R., Niederhoffer, K. (2003). Psychological aspects of natural language use: Our words, our selves. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 547–577.
- Rohrbaugh, M. J., Mehl, M. R., Shoham, V., Reilly, E., & Ewy, G. A. (2008). Prognostic significance of spouse we talk in couples coping with heart failure. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 781–789. PMID: 18837595
- Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The social dynamics of a cultural upheaval: Social interactions surrounding September 11, 2001. Psychological Science, 14, 579–585.
- Robbins, M. L., Focella, E. S., Kasle, S., Weihs, K. L., Lopez, A. M., & Mehl, M. R. (2011). Naturalistically observed swearing, emotional support and depressive symptoms in women coping with illness. Health Psychology, 30, 789-792.
- Robbins, M. L., Mehl, M. R., Holleran, S. E., & Kasle, S. (2011). Naturalistically observed sighing and depression in rheumatoid arthritis patients: A preliminary study. Health Psychology, 30, 129-133.
- Robbins, M. L., López, A. M., Weihs, K. L., & Mehl, M. R. (2014). Cancer conversations in context: Naturalistic observation of couples coping with breast cancer. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 380-390. DOI: 10.1037/a0036458
- Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The sounds of social life: A psychometric analysis of students’ daily social environments and natural conversations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 857–870.
- Mehl, M. R. (2006). The lay assessment of sub-clinical depression in daily life. Psychological Assessment, 18, 340-345. PMID: 16953737
- Mehl, M. R., Gosling, S. D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Personality in its natural habitat: Manifestations and implicit folk theories of personality in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 862–877.
- Mehl, M. R., Vazire, S., Holleran, S. E., & Clark, C. S. (2010). Eavesdropping on happiness: Well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations. Psychological Science, 21, 539–541.
2010-present Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona
2010-present Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Arizona
2007-present Associate Investigator, Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona
2007-2010 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Arizona
2004-2010 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona
1999-2000 Research Assistant, Institute for Physiological Psychology, University of Düsseldorf
1998-1999 Visiting Scholar, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin.
2006 Young Investigator Travel Award of the German Research Foundation
2003-2004 University Continuing Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin
1998-1999 Postgraduate Fellowship for Studying Abroad, German National Academic Foundation
1996-1998 Undergraduate Fellowship, German National Academic Foundation).