Michael Hoerger, Ph.D., M.S.C.R.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Oncology

Contributing Member of the Tulane Cancer Center
(504) 314-7545
School of Science & Engineering
Michael Hoerger

Education & Affiliations

Ph.D., 2010, Central Michigan University
M.S.C.R., 2016, Tulane University


Dr. Hoerger is a clinical health psychologist and decision scientist who conducts research aimed at supporting quality of life in adults with cancer. Quality of life encompasses both physical functioning and mental health, including depression and anxiety. Dr. Hoerger aims to support quality of life by conducting research on healthcare decision making and service utilization, patient-provider communication, patient education and empowerment, and health disparities. He is particularly interested in increasing utilization of palliative care, a multidisciplinary service for patients with advanced cancer or serious symptoms that is designed with the goal of supporting quality of life.

His research draws from the perspective of translational psychological science, meaning that his psycho-oncology studies are informed by basic psychology research and theory related to personality, emotion, and decision making. This includes Dr. Hoerger’s seminal work on ‘affective forecasting’ and ‘delay of gratification.’ He is also known for his methodologic expertise in study design, survey development and measurement, statistics, and web design.

Dr. Hoerger has devoted his career to conducting interdisciplinary research, serving over 40 professional journals, teaching and mentoring, providing clinical services, and engaging with the community on issues related to work, education, and health. Currently, Dr. Hoerger serves on the editorial board of Health Psychology, manages the charitable foundation web site for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), and reviews grants for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). As well, he was Tulane’s first faculty member to complete the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center’s Roadmap Award. 

Lab Website


3070 Percival Stern Hall

Selected Publications

Rogers, J. L., Perry, L. M., & Hoerger, M. (in press). Summarizing the evidence base for palliative oncology care: A critical evaluation of the meta-analyses. Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology.

Gerhart, J., Duberstein, P., Paull, D., O'Mahony, S., Burns, J., Denicolo, M., & Hoerger, M. (in press). Geography of preventable death in the United States: Anger-prone states and opioid deaths. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Sannes, T. S., Gerhart, J., McLouth, L. E., & Hoerger, M. (in press). The important role of mental health providers in palliative care interdisciplinary teams: A response to Henderson et al. Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Korotkin, B. D., Saks, S. J., & Duberstein, P. R. (in press). Self-complexity and socio-emotional adjustment to a romantic event in early adulthood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Duberstein, P.R., Chen, M., Hoerger, M., Epstein, R.M., Mohile, S.G., Saeed, F., Perry, L., Yilmaz, S., & Norton, S.A. (in press). Conceptualizing and counting discretionary utilization: A scoping review. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Malhotra, S., Gerhart, J. I., Mohile, S., & Duberstein, P. R. (2020). Development and validation of the Palliative Care Attitudes Scale: A measure of patient attitudes towards palliative care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 59, 293-301.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Molix, L. A., & Duberstein, P. R. (2020). A validation study of the mini-IPIP five-factor personality scale in adults with cancer. Journal of Personality Assessment, 102, 153-163.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Sartor, A. O., & Robinson, W. (2020). Distress among African American and white adults with cancer in Louisiana. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 38, 63-72.

View All of Dr. Hoerger's Publications

Courses Taught

Psychology Research Method: PSYC 3130

Health Psychology: PSYC 6800

Personality Psychology: PSYC 7010

Research Methods in Health Psychology: PSYC 6100