Robert  Elsner
Professor and Chair
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
201 Ingalls Hall

Robert Elsner is a highly respected scholar working at the intersection of psychology, health care and theological education. His areas of expertise include gerontology and geriatrics, statistics and experimental methodologies, practical ethics, learning and motivation, leadership studies and methods of evangelism among college students.

Elsner previously served as chair of Erskine College’s Psychology Department, and was Visiting Professor of Christian Education and Director of the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling program at Erskine Theological Seminary. He also served on the faculty of Family and Community Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Elsner is the author or co-author of dozens of peer-reviewed scholarly publications in multiple disciplines. He was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Current Research in Psychology and continues to serve as a reviewer and review board member for many psychology, medical and gerontology journals.


  • PhD, University of Georgia
  • DMin, Virginia Theological Seminary
  • MDiv, Erskine Theological Seminary
  • MAPM, Erskine Theological Seminary
  • MS, University of Georgia
  • MEd, University of Georgia
  • BA, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Volumes Edited and Book Chapters

Elsner, R.J.F. (2014). Chemical Senses. In S.K. Whitbourne (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

Elsner, R.J.F. (2002). Aging and Memory for Odors. In S.P. Shohov (Ed.), Advances in Psychology Research Volume 14 (pp. 3-35). New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Elsner, R.J.F. (1998). Voices of Experience: Listening to our Elders. Technical Report UGAGC-98-001 Athens, GA: UGA Gerontology Center.

Noble, C.A., & Elsner, R.J.F. (1997). Mentoring Future Gerontology Leaders in Higher Education. Technical Report UGAGC-97-002 Athens, GA: UGA Gerontology Center.

Noble, C.A., & Elsner, R.J.F. (1997). An Odyssey in Aging: Symposia from the 1997 Student Convention in Gerontology and Geriatrics. Technical Report UGAGC-97-005 Athens, GA: UGA Gerontology Center.

Selected Original Research Papers

Ball, J., & Elsner, R. (2019). Tattoos Increase Self-Esteem among College Students. College Student Journal, 53, 293–300.

Craft, K.M., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2017). Rhythm and Lyrics of Rap Music do not Change Narcissistic Personality State. Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, 7, 294-296.

Ball, J., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2017). Changes in Aesthetic Appeal of Tattoos Are Influenced by the Attractiveness of Female Models. Psychology Research, 7, 247-252.

Nelson, M., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2016). Doing Art versus Viewing Art as Therapeutic Modality. Innovative Journal of Medical and Health Science, 6, 66-68.

Negrete Narvaez, P.E., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2016). Effects of Media with Violent Content on College Students’ Aggressive Reaction. Psychology Research, 6, 449-454.

Bolaños-Melgar, L., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2016). Review of Advertising in the 21st century. International Journal of Business Administration, 7(4), 67-78.

Bolaños-Melgar, L., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2015). Positive effects of self-affirmation and environmental behavioral reinforcers on fruits and vegetable consumption. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 4, 190-204.

Anderson, H., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2014). Exposure to “textisms” does not lower spelling scores for elementary school aged children. Current Research in Psychology, 5, 89-95.

Elsner, R.J., & Spangler, J.G. (2005). Neurotoxicity of inhaled manganese: public health danger in the shower? Medical Hypotheses, 65, 607-616.

Daly, R. M., Elsner, R. J. F., Allen, P. F. and Burke, F. M. (2003), Associations between self-reported dental status and diet. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 30, 964–970. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2842.2003.01169.x

Elsner, R.J.F. (2002). Changes in Eating Behavior During the Aging Process. Eating Behaviors, 3, 15-43.

Elsner, R.J.F. (2002). Use and limitations of olfactory tests in diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Aging, 1, 8-12.

Delahunty, C., & Elsner, R.J.F. (2002) The HealthSense Project: A European Initiative with Global Impact. Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly, 21 (3). 23-34.

Elsner, R.J.F. (2002). Cognitive compensation can overcome age-associated physiological losses in processing odors, pictures, and flavors. Brain Aging, 2, 48-52.

Forde, C.G., Cantau, B., Elsner, R.J.F., & Delahunty, C.M. (2002). Interactions Between Texture and Trigeminal Stimulus in a liquid food system: Effects On Elderly Consumers Preferences. The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 6, 130-133.

Elsner, R.J.F. (2001). Odor Threshold, Recognition, Discrimination, and Identification in Centenarians. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 33, 81-94.

Elsner, R.J.F. (2001). Odor Memory and Aging: A review. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 8, 284-306.

Elsner, R.J.F. (2001). Experience and medication use effect olfactorial abilities of older adults. The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 5, 5-10.

Elsner, R.J.F., Martin, C.A., & Delahunty, C.M. (2001). Ethically Responsible Research. Food Technology, 55 (3), 36-42.

Elsner, R.J.F., Quinn, M.E., Gueldner, S.H., Fanning, S., & Poon, L.W. (1999). Ethical and Policy Considerations for Centenarians-- The Oldest-Old. Image: The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 31, 263- 267.

Elsner, R.J.F., McWatters, K.H., & Ressureccion, A.V.A. (1999). Consumer preference optimization of scallopini made from boneless, skinless chicken thighs. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 50, 399-405.

Elsner, R.J.F., Chang, W.H., & Carpenter, J.A. (1998). Determination of acceptability of flavored oat-bran frankfurters by older persons. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, 49, 219-224.

Elsner, R.J.F., & Poon, L.W. (1997). Odor Identification and recognition in the oldest-old. Chemical Senses, 22, 677.