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Department of Psychology

College of Arts & Sciences

University of Wyoming Department of Pyschology's motivation and congition lab

Motivation and Cognition Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sean McCrea

University of Wyoming
Department of Psychology, Dept. 3415
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071


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:

Alex Bitter, B.A.
    Self-handicapping among women in STEM
    Self-Control in daily life

Joshua Reynolds

Angel Muñoz Gómez Andrade, M.S.
    Commission errors in prospective memory
    Teaching of Psychology

Angel Munoz Gomez Andrade

 Trent Wondra, B.S.
Self-handicapping among low SES and
   first-generation students

Trent Wondra

Former Lab Members:

Joshua Reynolds, Ph.D., Stockton University
Richard Vann, Ph.D., Penn State Behrend

Current and Recent Research Projects:

  • Action phase mindsets
  • Defensiveness in groups
  • Self-control and regulation of health behaviors
  • Self-handicapping in clinical populations
  • Evolutionary approaches to exploitative and deceptive behaviors


Recent Publications:

Reynolds, J. J., & McCrea, S.M. (in press). Environmental Constraints on the Functionality of Inhibitory Self-Control: Sometimes you have to eat the donut. Self and Identity.

Reynolds, J. J., & McCrea, S. M. (in press). Criminal Behavior and Self-Control: Using the Dual Component Theory of Inhibition Regulation to Advance Self-Control and Crime Research. Current Psychology

Reynolds, J. J., & McCrea, S.M. (in press). Spontaneous violent and homicide thoughts in four homicide contexts. Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law

Estrada, V., Reynolds, J. J., Freng, S., & McCrea, S. M. (2017). I don’t like the cut of your jib: Perceived facial masculinity as a cue to criminality. Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law, 24, 392-409.

McCrea, S. M., Geršak, G., & Novak, D. (2017). Absolute and relative user perception of classification accuracy in an affective videogame. Interacting with Computers, 29, 271-286.

Jaconis, M., Boyd, S. J., Hartung, C., McCrea, S. M., Canu, W. H., Lefler, E. K. (2016). Sex differences in claimed and behavioral self-handicapping and ADHD symptomatology. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 8, 205-214.

Freng, S., Schweitzer, K., & McCrea, S. M. (2015). Reversal of fortune: When does increased distance from an initial negligent act make one more blameworthy? Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, doi:10.1080/13218719.2015.1021735.

Reynolds, J. J., & McCrea, S.M. (2015). Exploitative and deceptive resource
acquisition strategies: The role of life history strategy and life history contingencies. Evolutionary Psychology, 13, 1474704915593664.

McCrea, S. M, Penningroth, S. L., & Radakovich, M. P. (2015). Implementation intentions forge a strong cue-response link and boost prospective memory performance. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 27, 12-26.


Grant Activity:

2017-2020  A Kinder, Gentler Technology: Enhancing Human-Machine Symbiosis Using Adaptive, Personalized Affect-Aware Systems, PI Domen Novak (UW), NSF 1717705

2015  Treatment noncompliance as a form of self-handicapping behavior, University of Wyoming (PI)

2014  Overcoming collective defensiveness with implementation intentions, University of Konstanz (collaboration with PI Dr. Lukas Thuermer, University of Konstanz)


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. Lukas Thuermer, University of Konstanz

Dr. Frank Wieber, University of Konstanz (Germany)

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Sean McCrea, Ph.D.

University of Wyoming

Department of Psychology

Department 3415

Laramie , WY 82071

Fax: 307 -766-2926


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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