Karla Llanes is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE). She received her doctorate in Health Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). During her PhD training, she worked for A Smoke Free Paso del Norte, a west Texas, southern New Mexico, and Juarez, Mexico regional initiative targeting tobacco control in adolescents and adults. She has also taught several Statistics courses and Motivation and Emotion courses at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Her research interests are in judgment and decision-making processes in the context of health-related decisions (e.g., vaccination decisions, alcohol use, marijuana use, and novel tobacco use). Her goal is to identify judgment biases that distort risk communications and risk perceptions and, eventually, impact individuals' decisions to engage in health-threatening and health-promoting behaviors. She currently studies individual’s motivation for initiating and continuing drug use.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Karla plans on continuing her research investigating predictors of drug use, drug use initiation, and cessation. She is particularly interested in investigating risk factors associated with tobacco use, novel tobacco use, and co-use (e.g., e-cigarette and alcohol use). Specifically, she would like to identify why individuals make harmful health decisions. By understanding what leads to harmful real-life decisions, then she can help develop interventions that may help people change for the better.