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Daniel W. McNeil, Ph.D.

Eberly Professor Emeritus, Clinical Psychology

For information about Dr. McNeil’s Anxiety, Psychophysiology, and Pain Research Laboratory, click here.

Dr. McNeil will no longer be accepting applications for admissions to our doctoral program.


Dr. McNeil is a Distinguished Eberly Family Professor of Public Service, and a Clinical Professor of Dental Practice & Rural Health. He earned his bachelor’s, M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Alabama. As director of his anxiety, psychophysiology, and pain (APP) research laboratory, he is involved in the training of undergraduate and graduate students, chairing dissertation, thesis, senior honors thesis, and McNair scholar project committees. A licensed and practicing clinical psychologist, he is a clinical researcher with interdisciplinary interests in health psychology, including behavioral dentistry, studying the experience and expression of emotion, particularly anxiety and pain. 

Dr. McNeil has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 10 years for behavioral dentistry and other oral health research. With a particular focus on behavioral dentistry and other clinic-based studies in health care settings, the APP lab also encompasses basic laboratory studies on human behavior related to pain and emotion, including such constructs as emotional pain.

Professor McNeil was initiated into Psi Chi in 1977 as an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. He has served as faculty advisor to Psi Chi at WVU for more than 15 years. The WVU Psi Chi chapter was awarded the Ruth Hubbard Cousins Chapter Award in 2011-2012; Dr. McNeil was named the outstanding faculty advisor for Psi Chi internationally in 2015. These awards are presented annually to the best chapter and advisor, across 1,100+ chapters worldwide. 

Dr. McNeil is a supervising psychologist in the department’s training clinic, the Quin Curtis Center. A member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), he provides workshops and other training on Motivational Interviewing internationally. 

A Fulbright Senior Scholar in New Zealand in 2010, Professor McNeil also is interested in psychological implications of cross-cultural interactions, including groups for whom health disparities exist, including Appalachian populations and indigenous peoples, particularly including American Indians and Alaska Natives. 

Dr. McNeil has been recognized nationally for his role as a mentor, his service activities, and his research.

Research Interests

Dr. McNeil is interested in health psychology broadly, with specific foci on the experience and expression of pain, anxiety disorders, and the interaction of pain, anxiety, and fear. Additionally, he studies the utilization and effects of Motivational Interviewing in healthcare settings. 

Working broadly within a clinical health psychology framework, and including a specific emphasis on behavioral dentistry, he is involved with several externally funded research projects as the principal investigator at West Virginia University. In one project, he and colleagues are examining factors contributing to oral health disparities in Appalachia (R01 DE014899; grant from the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research/National Institutes of Health). Additionally, he is studying interactions in healthcare settings, specifically dental care, among young children, parents/caregivers, and clinicians (R21 DE026540; grant from the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research/National Institutes of Health). He also has served as a mentor and co-investigator on a project that investigated the assessment of negativity bias in depression, and changes in that bias as a result of behavioral activation therapy (NARSAD grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation).