Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD



Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, as well as a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School.  He is also a core investigator and Director of the Internet Survey Lab at CBSSM as well as a member of the UM Risk Science Center.

Dr. Zikmund-Fisher studied economics and psychology at Swarthmore College before getting his doctorate in behavioral decision theory at Carnegie Mellon University. Although he began his academic career in behavioral economics, Dr. Zikmund-Fisher moved from studying consumer choice to medical decisions after surviving a bone marrow transplant. 

Much of Dr. Zikmund-Fisher's current research focuses on risk perceptions (especially understandings of cumulative, dynamic, and incremental risks), developing graphical displays to improve understanding and make people's impressions of risks more consistent, and the affective experience of risk. Other research interests include how decision making processes vary across different medical and health decisions, the communication of genetic test results to patients, individual numeracy, discrepancies between decisions for others vs. for oneself, community members' mental models of chemical exposure risk, and the effects of uncertainty and information evaluability on people's health and healthcare choices. 

Dr. Zikmund-Fisher is an occasional contributor to U-M's Risk Science Center's blog.  Click here to read a recent post.

Brian's personal interests include juggling, rollerblading, Asian food, and gourmet chocolate.


Recent Publications:

Helping patients decide: Ten steps to better risk communication
Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Ubel P. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2011;103(19):.

Increased precision in online risk calculators doesn't help and might hurt
Witteman H, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Waters EA, Gavaruzzi T, Fagerlin A. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2011;13(3):e54.

Recent Press Coverage:

Decision guide reduced uncertainty over breast cancer prevention, study finds
University of Michigan Health System Press Release - April 16, 2012

10 ways to make better decisions about cancer care
University of Michigan Health System Press Release - September 20, 2011