Evan Wilhelms

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Evan Wilhelms


Evan Wilhelms is an assistant professor of psychology, specializing in cognitive development, health, and judgment and decision making (JDM). His scholarship focuses on how effective education and health communication can create knowledge and behavior changes that lead to improved well-being and happiness, often through the lens of comparing intuition to deliberate analysis and identifying contexts in which intuition is beneficial. This has led to themes such as how health communication can be effective in the face of misinformation and myths, how delay of gratification and representations of subjective well-being contribute to health and financial decisions, and how educational systems interact with student traits to shape learning, behavior, and success.


  • Baldwin-Wallace College, 2004
  • M.A., Cornell University, 2013
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 2015

Research Interests

  • Cognitive development
  • Health communication
  • Subjective well-being
  • JDM

Selected Publications

Wilhelms, E. A., Fraenkel, L., & Reyna, V. F. (2018). Effects of probabilities, adverse outcomes, and status quo on perceived riskiness of medications: Testing explanatory hypotheses concerning gist, worry, and numeracy. Applied Cognitive Psychology 32 (6), 714–726.

Fraenkel, L., Reyna, V. F., Cozmuta, R., Cornell, D., Nolte, J., & Wilhelms, E. A. (2018). Do Visual Aids Influenced Patients’ Risk Perceptions for Rare and Very Rare Risks? Patient Education and Counseling 101 (11), 1900-1905.

Cozmuta, R., Wilhelms, E. A., Cornell, D., Nolte, J., Reyna, V.F., & Fraenkel, L. (2018). The Influence of Explanatory Images on Risk Perceptions and Treatment Preference. Arthritis Care & Research 70 (11), 1707–1711.

Brust-Renck, P. G., Reyna, V. F., Wilhelms, E. A., Wolfe, C. R., Widmer, C. L., Cedillos-Whynott, E. M., & Morant, A. K. (2017). Active engagement in a web-based tutorial to prevent obesity predicts improved knowledge, gist comprehension, and endorsement of healthy values. Behavior Research Methods 49 (4), 1386–1398.

Reyna, V. F., & Wilhelms, E. A. (2017). The gist of delay of gratification: Understanding and predicting problem behaviors. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 30 (2), 610-625.

Wilhelms, E. A., & Reyna, V. F. (Eds.) (2015). Neuroeconomics, judgment, and decision making. New York, NY: Psychology Press.