Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

John V. Petrocelli

John V. Petrocelli

  • Media Contact
  • SPN Mentor

Much of my research falls within the domains of experimental social cognition and judgment and decision making. My primary research interests include counterfactual thinking, attitude strength and persuasion, metacognition, and group-based emotions. Much of my work employs a metacognitive approach in these areas, exploring the roles of people’s perceptions and thoughts about their own thoughts and attitudes in social and consumer contexts.

As an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University, I teach courses in research methods, statistics, and social psychology.

I received a B.A. in Psychology from Westminster College, PA in the Fall of 1997 and went on to earn my Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Indiana University in the Spring of 2007. From 1997-2002, I studied Counseling Psychology, earning an M.A. from Slippery Rock University and completing the majority of the requirements toward a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia. Since the Fall of 2007, I have served as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Causal Attribution
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Dowd, K. W., Petrocelli, J. V., & Wood, M. T. (2014). Integrating information from multiple sources: A metacognitive account of self-generated and externally-provided anchors. Thinking and Reasoning, 20, 315-332.
  • Petrocelli, J. V. (2018). Antecedents of bullshitting. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 76, 249-258.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Clarkson, J. J., Tormala, Z. L., & Hendrix, K. S. (2010). Perceiving stability as a means to attitude certainty: The role of implicit theories of attitudes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 874-883.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., & Crysel, L. C. (2009). Counterfactual thinking and confidence in blackjack: A test of the counterfactual inflation hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1312-1315.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., & Harris, A. K. (2011). Learning inhibition in the Monty Hall Problem: The role of dysfunctional counterfactual prescriptions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1297-1311.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Kammrath, L. K., Brinton, J. E., Uy, M. R., Cowens, D. F. L. (2015). Holding on to what might have been may loosen (or tighten) the ties that bind us: A counterfactual potency analysis of previous dating alternatives. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56, 50-59.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Martin, J. L., & Li, W. Y. (2010). Shaping behavior through malleable self-perceptions: A test of the forced-agreement scaling effect (FASE). Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 213-221.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Percy, E. J., Sherman, S. J., & Tormala, Z. L. (2011). Counterfactual potency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 100, 30-46.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Rubin, A. L., & Stevens, R. L. (2016). The sin of prediction: When mentally simulated alternatives compete with reality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 1635-1652.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Seta, C. E., Seta, J. J., & Prince, L. B. (2012). "If only I could stop generating counterfactual thoughts": When counterfactual thinking interferes with academic performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1117-1123.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Seta, J. J.., & Seta, C. E. (2012). Prefactual potency: The perceived likelihood of alternatives to anticipated realities. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 1467-1479.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., & Sherman, S. J. (2010). Event detail and confidence in gambling: The role of counterfactual thought reactions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 61-72.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Tormala, Z. L., & Rucker, D. D. (2007). Unpacking attitude certainty: Attitude clarity and attitude correctness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 92, 30-41.
  • Petrocelli, J. V., Williams, S. A., & Clarkson, J. J. (2015). The bigger they come, the harder they fall: The paradoxical effect of regulatory depletion on attitude change. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 58, 82-94.
  • Seta, C. E., Seta, J. J., Petrocelli, J. V., & McCormick, M. (2015). Even better than the real thing: Alternative outcome bias affects decision judgments and decision regret. Thinking and Reasoning, 21, 446-472.
  • Sherman, J. W., Kruschke, J. K., Sherman, S. J., Percy, E. J., Petrocelli, J. V., & Conrey, F. R. (2009). Attentional processes in stereotype formation: A common model for category accentuation and illusory correlation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 96, 305-323.

Courses Taught:

  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Research in Social Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology I
  • Social Psychology

John V. Petrocelli
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 7778
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27109
United States

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