Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

Dr. Rob Carels
Personal links and information.

Robert A. Carels, PhD, MBA, ABPP
Director of Clinical Training

Office: Rawl 344B
Phone: 252-737-5070
Fax: 252-328-6283

Mailing Address:

104 Rawl Building
Department of Psychology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Willing to consider taking a doctoral student in 2019-20: Yes


PhDClinical Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MBA, Business, Bentley College
BA, Business, Michigan State University 

Board Certification:

ABPP, Board Certified in Clinical Health Psychology

Research Interests: Dr. Carels is a clinical psychologist who is committed to developing more effective behavioral weight loss treatments through the application of theory-driven innovation.He is also committed to better understanding and combating weight stigma in its many forms.The focus of Dr. Carels' programmatic line of weight loss research is in developing alternatives to standard clinical treatments for obesity. His research examines theoretically based alternative treatment approaches, such stepped-care models, as well as examining alternative modes of treatment delivery, such as self-help.Additionally, he has published articles on weight bias in the following areas: 1) weight bias in treatment seeking adults, 2) implicit attitudes and weight bias, 3) stereotype threat, 4) attitudes and weight bias, and 5) weight based discrimination.

Selected publications in peer refereed journals:

Carels, RA,Rossi, J, Taylor, MB, Borushok, J, Kiefner-Burmeister, A, Cross, N, Hinman, N, Burmeister, JM.(2015) Influencing weight bias: The impact of biased questionnaire anchors on stereotype beliefs and judgments. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, in press.

Carels, RA,Rossi, J, Borushok, J, Taylor, MB, Kiefner-Burmeister, A, Cross, N, Hinman, N, Burmeister, JM. (2015) Changes in weight bias and perceived employability following weight loss and gain, Obesity Surgery, 12, 32-35.

Hinman, N., Burmeister, J., Kiefner, A., Borushok, J., &Carels, RA(2015).Stereotypical portrayals of obesity and the expression of implicit weight bias.Body Image, 12, 32-35.

Carels, RA, Hinman, N., Hoffmann, D., Burmeister, J., Borushok, J., Marx, JM, Ashrafioun, L. (2014).648–653.

Carels, RA,Burmeister, JM,Koball, AM, Oehlhof, M A Hinman, N, Leroy, M, Bannon, E,Ashrafioun, L, Storfer-Isser, A, Darby, L, Gumble, A.(2014). Randomized trial comparing two approaches toweight loss: Differences in weight loss maintenance. Journal of Health Psychology.

Burmeister, J. &Carels, RA(2014). Weight-related humor in the media: Appreciation, distaste, and anti-fat attitudes.Psychology of Popular Media Culture,3:4, 223-238.

Ashrafioun, L,Carels, RA(2014).Prescription opioid use among university students: Assessment of post-cue exposure craving. Addictive Behaviors,, 586-592.

Burmeister, J. &Carels, RA.(2014). Television viewing predicts binge eating behavior. Eating Behaviors,White II, DE, Wott, C, & Carels, RA. (2013). The influence of plaintiff's body weight on judgments of responsibility: The role of weight bias. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.

Harper, J. &Carels, RA(2013). Impact of social pressure on stereotypes about obese people. Eating and Weight Disorders, 1-7.

Carels, RA,Hinman, N., Burmeister, J., Hoffmann, D. A., Ashrafioun, L., & Koball, A. (2013). Stereotypical Images and Implicit Weight Bias in Overweight/Obese People, Eating and Weight Disorders, 18.

Carels, RA,Hoffmann, DA, Hinman, N, Burmeister, JM, Koball, AF, Ashrafioun, L, Darby, LA (2013).Step-down approach to behavioral weight loss treatment: A pilot of a randomized clinical trial. Psychology and Health.

Carels, RA,Domoff, SE, Burmeister, JM, Koball, AM, Hinman, N, Davis, AK, Wagner Oehlhof, M, Leroy, M, Bannon, E, Hoffmann, DA (2013)Examining perceived stereotype threat among overweight/obese adults using a Multi-Threat Framework.Obesity Facts.

Burmeister, J., Kiefner, A.,Carels, R. A., & Musher-Eizenman, D. (2013) Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions. Obesity,21(5), 918-920.

Burmeister, J.M., Hinman, N., Koball, A., Hoffmann, D.A., &Carels, R.A.(2013). Food addiction in adults seeking weight loss treatment: Implications for psychosocial health and weight loss. Appetite, 60, 103-110.

Carels, RA,Burmeister, J, Oehlhof, MW, Hinman, N, LeRoy, M, Bannon, E, Koball, A,Ashrafloun, L. (2013).Internalized Weight Bias: Ratings of the self, normal weight, and obese individuals and psychological maladjustment. Journal of Behavioral Medicine,13, 112-8.

Carels, RA,Young, KM, Hinman, N, Gumble, A, Koball, A, Wagner Oehlhof, M, DarbyL. (2012) Stepped-Care in Obesity Treatment: Matching Treatment Intensity to Participant Performance, Eating Behaviors,38, 86-94.

Domoff, S. E., Hinman, N., Koball, A., Storfer-Isser, A., Carhart, V. L., Baik, K. D.Carels, RA.(2012). Reality television and weight bias: An examination of The Biggest Loser? Obesity, 20(5), 993-998.

Gumble, A &Carels, RA. (2012).The harmful and beneficial impacts of weight bias on well-being: The moderating influence of weight status. Body Image, 9:1, 101-107.

Carels, RA,Hinman, N. Koball, A, Oehlhof, MW, Gumble, A, Young, KM. (2011).The self protective nature of implicit identity and its relationship to weight bias and short-term weight loss, Obesity Facts, 4:4, 278-283.

Coy, B, O'Brien, WH, Tabaczynski, T, Northern, J, &Carels, RA(2011). Associations between evaluation anxiety, cognitive interference and performance on working memory tasks. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 823-832.

Koball, A &Carels, RA(2011) Coping as a Mediator in the Relationship between Weight Stigma and Depression, Eating and Weight Disorders, 16:1, 17-23.

Carels, RA,Young, KM, Koball, A, Gumble, A, Darby, LA Wagner Oehlhof, M, Wott, C, Hinman, N(2010) Transforming your Life: An environmental modification approach to weight loss. Journal of Health Psychology,16(3) 430–438.

Carels, RA,Wott, CB, Young, KM, Gumble, A, Koball, A, Oehlhof, MW. (2010) Implicit, explicit, and internalized weight bias and psychosocial maladjustment among treatment-seeking adults. Eating Behaviors, 11, 180-185.

Carels, RA,Musher-Eizenman, D. (2010) Individual Differences and Weight Bias: Do People with an Anti-Fat Bias have a Pro-Thin Bias? Binge Eating, 7, 143-148.

Wott, CB,Carels, RA,Overt Weight Stigma, (2009) Psychological distress and weight loss treatment outcomes. Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 608-614.

Musher-Eizenman,D.Carels RA.(2009) The impact of target weight and gender on perceptions of likeability, personality attributes, and functional impairment. Obesity Facts, 2, 311-317.

Berger, BG, Darby, LA, Owen, DR,Carels, RA.(2010) Implications of a behavioral weight loss program for obese, sedentary women: A focus on mood enhancement and exercise enjoyment. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 8, 10-23.

Carels, RA,Young, K, Wott, CB, Harper, J, Gumble, A, Oehlof, MW, Clayton, AM (2009)Successful weight loss with self-help: A stepped-care approach.Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 503-509.

Carels RA,Young KM, Wott, C, Harper, J, Gumble, A, Wagner Hobbs, M, Clayton, A.  (2009) Internalized Weight Stigma and its Ideological Correlates among Weight Loss Treatment Seeking Adults.Eating and Weight Disorders,14, 92-97.

Carels, RA,Young, K, Wott, CB, Harper, J, Gumble, A, Oehlof, MW, Clayton, AM (2009). Weight bias and weight loss treatment outcomes in treatment-seeking adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine,37, 350-355.

Carels RA,Young KM, Coit C, Clayton AM Spencer, A, Hobbs, M.W. (2008) Skipping meals and alcohol consumption: The regulation of energy intake and expenditure among weight loss participants.Appetite,51, 538-545.

Carels RA,Young KM, Coit C, Clayton AM Spencer, A, Hobbs, M.W. (2008) Can following the caloric restriction recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans help individuals lose weight?Eating Behaviors,9,328-335.

Carels RA,Young KM, Coit C, Darby LA, Clayton AM, Spencer A et al. (2008) The failure of therapist assistance and stepped-care to improve weight loss outcomes.Obesity.16,1460-1462.

Carels RA,Konrad KK, Young KM, Darby LA, Coit C, Clayton AM et al. (2008) Taking control of your personal eating and exercise environment: A weight maintenance program.Eating Behaviors,9, 228-237.

Carels, RA,Coit, C, Young, KM, Berger, B. (2007) Exercise Makes You Feel Good, but Does Feeling Good Make You Exercise? An Examination of Obese Dieters. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29, 706-722.

Carels, RA,Harper, J, Konrad, KK. (2007) Individual Differences in Food Perceptions and Calorie Estimation: An Examination of Dieting Status, Weight, and Gender.Appetite, 49, 450-58.

Perez Benitez, C., O'Brien, WH,Carels, RA, Gordon, AK, Chiros, CE. (2007) Cardiovascular correlates of disclosing homosexual orientation. Stress and Health, 23, 141-152.

Konrad, KK,Carels, RA,Gardner, D. (2007) Metabolic and psychological changes during refeeding in anorexia nervosa.Eating and Weight Disorders, 12, 20-27.

Carels RA,Darby LA, Cacciapaglia HM, Konrad KK, Coit C, Harper J, Kaplar, ME, Young, K, Baylen, CA, & Versland, A (2007) Using motivational interviewing as a supplement to obesity treatment: A stepped-care approach. Health Psychology, 26, 369-374.

Carels, RA,Harper, J, Konrad, KK (2006). Qualitative perceptions and caloric estimations of healthy and unhealthy foods by behavioral weight loss participants, Appetite, 46, 199-206.

Carels, RA,Darby, L, Berger, B. (2006). The association between mood states and physical activity in postmenopausal women.Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 14, 12-28.

Carels, RA,Douglass, O Cacciapaglia, H, Rydin, S, Harper, J. (2006). Can social desirability interfere with success in a behavioral weight loss program? Psychology and Health,21(1):65-78.

Carels, RA,Darby, L, Rydin, S, Douglass, O, Cacciapaglia, H. (2005) The relationship between self-monitoring, outcome expectancies, difficulties with eating and exercise, physical activity and weight loss in a behavioral weight loss program: Within and between participant relationships.Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 182-190.

Carels, RA,Darby, L, Cacciapaglia, H, Douglass, O, Kaplar, M, Rydin, S, Tonkin, K, Konrad, K, Harper, J (2005). Applying a stepped-care approach to the treatment of obesity, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 59, 375-383.

Carels,RA,Darby, L, Douglass, O, Cacciapaglia, H, Rydin, S.(2005). Education on the glycemic index of foods fails to improve treatment outcomes in a behavioral weight loss program. Eating Behaviors, 6,145-150.

Carels, RA,Darby, L, Cacciapaglia, H, Douglass, O. (2004). Reducing cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women through a lifestyle change intervention. Journal of Women's Health,13:4, 412-426.

Carels, RA,Cacciapaglia, H, Douglass, O, Cacciapaglia, H, O'Brien, WH (2004). An ecological momentary assessment of relapse crisis in dieting.Journal of Consulting and Clinical, 72:2, 341-348.