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Department of Psychology|College of Arts & Sciences

Contact Us

Sean McCrea, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming
Department of Psychology
Department 3415
Laramie , WY 82071
Phone: 307-766-6149
Fax: 307 -766-2926

Motivation and Cognition Laboratory

Students in Sean McCrea's lab

The Motivation & Cognition Lab

Front row (left to right): Brittney Goeken, Spencer West
Back row (left to right): Dylan Earnshaw, Andrew Olson, Maurissa Radakovich
Not pictured: Kevin Bell, Seo Wook Choi, Josh Reynolds, Chelsea Ordiway

Motivation and Cognition Lab

The Motivation and Cognition Laboratory conducts research on the interplay of motivational and cognitive processes in human behavior. Examples include the role of cognitive processes in self-regulation and achievement behavior, and the impact of motivational factors on decision making and learning.

Lab Members:

Joshua Reynolds, M.S. Psychology


Maurissa Radakovich

Current and Recent Research Projects:

  • Anticipatory thought processes in self-handicapping
  • Construal level effects on procrastination
  • Effectiveness of planning in the reduction of self-protective behavior
  • The role of expertise in probability judgments
  • Motivational benefits and costs of counterfactual thinking

Recent Publications:

Myers, A. M.*, McCrea, S. M., & Tyser, M. P.* (in press). The role of thought-content and mood in the preparative benefits of upward counterfactual thinking. Motivation and Emotion. [link to preprint]

Thuermer, J. L., McCrea, S. M., & Gollwitzer, P. G. (in press). Regulating self-defensiveness: If-then plans prevent claiming and creating performance handicaps. Motivation and Emotion. [link to preprint]

Tyser, M. P., McCrea, S. M., & Knuepfer, K. (2012). Pursuing perfection or pursuing protection? Self-evaluation concerns and the motivational consequences of counterfactual thinking. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 372-382. [preprint pdf]

McCrea, S. M., & Flamm, A. (2012). Dysfunctional anticipatory thoughts and the self-handicapping strategy. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 72-81. [preprint pdf]

McCrea, S. M., Wieber, F., & Myers, A. L. (2012). Construal level mind-sets moderate self- and social stereotyping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 51-68. [preprint pdf]

Nunez, N., McCrea, S. M., & Culhane, S. E. (2011). Jury decision making research: Are Researchers Focusing on the Mouse and Not the Elephant in the Room? Behavioral Sciences and Law, 29, 439-451. [preprint pdf]

McCrea, S. M., & Hirt, E. R. (2011). Limitations on the substitutability of self-protective processes: Self-handicapping is not reduced by related-domain self-affirmations. Social Psychology, 42, 9-18. [preprint pdf]

Hirt, E. R., & McCrea, S. M. (2009). Man smart, woman smarter?: Getting to the root of gender differences in self-handicapping. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, 260-274. Published version

McCrea, S. M., & Hirt, E. R. (2009). Match madness: Probability matching in prediction of the NCAA basketball tournament. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39, 2809-2839. Preprint

McCrea, S. M., & Hirt, E. R., & Milner, B. J. (2008). She works hard for the money: Valuing effort underlies gender differences in behavioral self-handicapping. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 292-311. Preprint pdf

McCrea, S. M., Liberman, N., Trope, Y., & Sherman, S. J. (2008). Construal level and procrastination. Psychological Science, 19, 1308-1314. Preprint pdf

Hirt, E. R., Devers, E. E., McCrea, S. M. (2008). I want to be creative: Exploring the role of hedonic contingency theory in the positive mood-cognitive flexibility link. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 214-230. Read more

McCrea, S. M. (2008). Self-handicapping, excuse-making, and counterfactual thinking: Consequences for self-esteem and future motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 274-292. Preprint pdf

McCrea, S. M., Hirt, E. R., Hendrix, K. L., Milner, B. J., & Steele, N. L. (2008). The Worker scale: Developing a measure to explain gender differences in behavioral self-handicapping. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 949-970. Preprint pdf

Grant Activity:

2009-2012 A self-evaluation model of upward counterfactual thinking, German Science Foundation
(DFG) Grant MC 68/2-1.

2009 The effects of construal on procrastination, CoPI with Prof. Nira Liberman (Tel Aviv University), Kurt Lion Foundation Research Grant

2005-2008 Planning to Fail: Mental Simulation and Self-handicapping, German Science Foundation
(DFG) Grant MC 68/1-1.

Research Collaborators:

Dr. Matthew T. Crawford, Victoria University Wellington (New Zealand)

Dr. Peter M. Gollwitzer, New York University; University of Konstanz (Germany)

Dr. Edward R. Hirt, Indiana University

Dr. Nira Liberman, Tel Aviv University (Israel)

Dr. Frank Wieber, University of Konstanz (Germany)

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