Catalina Kopetz

Catalina Kopetz
Wayne State University | WSU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

51
Publications
28,021
Reads
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1,264
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on self-regulation phenomena from the perspective of motivation as cognition. I am particularly interested in identifying and understanding the mechanisms that underlie goal pursuit and the management of multiple goals and goal conflict. My research investigates these basic mechanisms that govern human action in general, and in particular it attempts to understand their functioning in health-relevant judgment and behavior (e.g. dieting, substance use, HIV risk behavior).
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
Wayne State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2013 - May 2019
Wayne State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
May 2011 - August 2013
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Research Assistant Professor
Education
August 2001 - December 2007
University of Maryland, College Park
Field of study
  • Social Psychology
October 1999 - September 2000
Université de Savoie
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology

Publications

Publications (51)
Article
Full-text available
We explore the possibility that self-defeating behaviors represent self-regulatory success rather than failure. Specifically, we suggest that drug use, overeating, risky sexual behavior, self-harm, and martyrdom represent means toward individuals’ goals. In this capacity, they may be initiated and pursued upon goal activation despite potentially ne...
Article
Addiction models have frequently invoked motivational mechanisms to explain the initiation and maintenance of addictive behaviors. However, in doing so, these models have emphasized the unique characteristics of addictive behaviors and overlooked the commonalities that they share with motivated behaviors in general. As a consequence, addiction rese...
Article
In the presence of several objectives, goal conflict may be avoided via multifinal means, which advance all of the active goals at once. Because such means observe multiple constraints, they are fewer in number than the unconstrained means to a single goal. Five experimental studies investigated the process of choosing or generating such means for...
Article
Full-text available
The current research explores the idea that self-defeating behaviors represent means toward individuals’ goals. In this quality, they may be automatically initiated upon goal activation without individual’s voluntary intention and thus exemplify the long-held idea that the end justifies the means. To investigate this notion empirically we explored...
Article
Full-text available
Diverse facets of the multifinality configuration in goal-directed behavior are identified and empirically explored. The multifinality construct denotes a motivational structure wherein a single means is linked to several ends. A multifinality configuration maximizes value that a given means promises to deliver while sacrificing expectancy of attai...
Article
Objective Brief, culturally-tailored, and scalable stress coping interventions are needed to address a broad range of stress-related health disparities, including among African Americans. In this study, we develop two brief justice writing interventions and demonstrate a methodological approach for evaluating how prompting African Americans to thin...
Article
Understanding how individual beliefs and societal values influence support for measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission is vital to developing and implementing effective prevention policies. Using both Just World Theory and Cultural Dimensions Theory, the present study considered how individual-level justice beliefs and country-level social valu...
Article
The present research applies the principles of goal pursuit to understand how people evaluate their romantic partners. Recent theoretical work suggests that people serve as means to one’s goals and have conceptualized romantic partners as multifinal means (fulfilling multiple goals). One consequence of a means being multifinal is that its instrumen...
Book
Full-text available
This ground-breaking book introduces a new model of extremism that emphasizes motivational imbalance among individual needs, offering a unique multidisciplinary exploration of extreme behaviors relating to terrorism, dieting, sports, love, addictions, and money. In popular discourse, the term ‘extremism’ has come to mean largely ‘violent extremism...
Article
Full-text available
Affect has been considered an important factor of risk decision making. However, previous work has focused on the valence of affect and disregarded its motivational relevance. We present two studies investigating people’s likelihood to drink and drive as a function of negative affect related to drinking and driving that was inconsistent, or threate...
Article
Behavioral extremism (e.g., violent extremism, extreme humanism, or extreme athleticism) elicits fear, revulsion, pity, or admiration depending on the context. Its common image as exotic and esoteric makes extremism fascinating to audiences worldwide. The negative, antisocial and positive, prosocial cases of extremism are generally regarded as pole...
Article
Risky behaviors represent serious threats to health and the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Despite known negative consequences, people continue to abuse alcohol and drugs, to smoke, overeat, engage in risky sexual behavior, and drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This might happen because they perceive th...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this work, we study how social contacts and feelings of solidarity shape experiences of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. We draw on cross-national data, collected across four time points between mid-March until early May 2020. We situate our work within the public debate on these issues and discuss to what extent the public...
Article
Full-text available
The PsyCorona collaboration is a research project to examine processes involved in the COVID-19 pandemic, such as behavior that curbs virus transmission, which may implicate social norms, cooperation, and self-regulation. The study also examines psychosocial consequences of physical distancing strategies and societal lockdown, such as frustration o...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have seen a surge in the popularity of interventions that target common distortions in thinking (cognitive-bias modification, or CBM). Although there is evidence of their effectiveness as add-ons to regular treatment in alcohol addiction, the effects are typically small, and recent findings from lab studies have called into question th...
Article
We present a psychological model of extremism based on the concept of motivational imbalance whereby a given need gains dominance and overrides other basic concerns. In contrast, moderation results from a motivational balance wherein individuals’ different needs are equitably attended to. Importantly, under moderation the different needs constrain...
Article
Full-text available
Mapping the Moods of COVID-19: Global Study Uses Data Visualization to Track Psychological Responses, Identify Targets for Intervention
Article
Risk-taking in adolescence has been often associated with early life adversities. However, the impact of such macrolevel factors on risk behavior has been rarely studied in humans. To address these gaps we recruited a sample of young adolescents who were part of a randomized control trial of foster care. Children institutionalized at or soon after...
Article
People engage in risk behavior as a means to different goals they may pursue. This research investigates why people choose risk behavior as opposed to finding alternative means to fulfill these goals. One intuitive answer is that they are not aware of the negative consequences of these behaviors. However, there is now substantial research suggestin...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in how close relationships can impact personal goal pursuit. Extensive research on social support has shown that support often facilitates goal pursuit. However, Fitzsimons and Finkel found that perceived partner support may actually undermine motivation and decrease goal pursuit intentions. In th...
Chapter
Do you really think … that it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that require strength, strength and courage, to yield to. To stake all one’s life on a single moment, to risk everything on one throw, whether the stake be power or pleasure, I care not – there is no weakness in that.
Book
This volume honors the work of Arie W. Kruglanski. It represents a collection of chapters written by Arie’s former students, friends, and collaborators. The chapters are rather diverse and cover a variety of topics from politics, including international terrorism, to health related issues, such as addiction and self-control, to basic psychological...
Article
Objective: Alcohol-impaired driving remains a serious public health concern despite the fact that drinking and driving risks are widely disseminated and well understood by the public. This research examines the motivational conditions under which providing risk information can exacerbate rather than decrease potential drinking drivers' willingness...
Article
The current research developed and tested a novel training strategy to alter the implicit associations between alternative behaviors to smoking and negative affect, and explored its effects on depressive symptoms and on smoking behavior as part of a quit attempt. Using a joystick, participants identified as smokers with depressive symptoms were tra...
Article
The Need for Cognitive Closure (NCC, Kruglanski & Webster, 1996) is a motivational force describing a general tendency to form clear judgments and to reach firm decisions. Since individuals high in NCC have an intolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity, as well as a preference for predictability, we hypothesized that they would show more risk aversio...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates abuse and rejection sensitivity as important correlates of risky sexual behavior in the context of substance use. Victims of abuse may experience heightened sensitivity to acute social rejection and consequently engage in risky sexual behavior in an attempt to restore belonging. Data were collected from 258 patients at a sub...
Book
The current volume brings together social psychological theories and concepts and discusses their relevance to understanding substance use and addiction. It identifies convergence points between traditional perspectives on addiction and social psychological theory and research. This coexistence, which acknowledges the value of the conceptual and me...
Chapter
Full-text available
Traditionally, research on the psychology of motivation has addressed two separate questions: the What of motivation and the How of motivation. The former concerns the nature of the various motives that propel human behavior, and the latter the general process whereby any motive exerts its effects. This essay reviews historical and contemporary res...
Chapter
Full-text available
Traditionally, research on the psychology of motivation has addressed two separate questions: the What of motivation and the How of motivation. The former concerns the nature of the various motives that propel human behavior, and the latter the general process whereby any motive exerts its effects. This paper reviews historical and contemporary res...
Poster
Aims: Maintenance of smoking behavior in vulnerable individuals with depressive symptoms is believed to occur through negative and positive reinforcement processes whereby smoking dominates individual’s repertoire of behaviors effective in coping with negative affect and obtain rewards. The current study aimed 1) to test the efficacy of a novel beh...
Article
The construct of motivational readiness is introduced and explored. Motivational readiness is the willingness or inclination, whether or not ultimately realized, to act in the service of a desire. Building on prior relevant conceptions that include, among others, animal learning models (Hull, 1943; Spence, 1956; Tolman, 1955) and personality approa...
Article
The selfish goal metaphor is interesting and intriguing. It accounts for the idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies in peoples' goal pursuits without invoking free will, self-regulatory, or self-control failures. However, people pursue multiple goals, sometimes simultaneously. We argue that the model proposed in the target article may gain significant...
Article
Crack/cocaine and engagement in risky sexual behavior represent important contributors to the escalation of the HIV infection among women. Several lines of research have emphasized the role of social factors in women's vulnerability for such practices and stressed the importance of understanding such factors to better inform prevention efforts and...
Article
Like most behavior, consumer behavior too is goal driven. In turn, goals constitute cognitive constructs that can be chronically active as well as primed by features of the environment. Goal systems theory outlines the principles that characterize the dynamics of goal pursuit and explores their implications for consumer behavior. In this vein, we d...
Article
Full-text available
A force-field theory of motivated cognition is presented and applied to a broad variety of phenomena in social judgment and self-regulation. Purposeful cognitive activity is assumed to be propelled by a driving force and opposed by a restraining force. Potential driving force represents the maximal amount of energy an individual is prepared to inve...
Article
Cocaine use and dependence remains an important public health concern. Thus, the identification of individual difference factors that may maintain cocaine use remains an important goal. The goal of the current study is to test whether the cognitive vulnerability of anxiety sensitivity (AS), an identified risk factor for anxiolytic use and use-relat...
Article
Researchers have identified the association between the use of cocaine and sexual behavior as an important risk factor for HIV infection and have attempted to elucidate the nature of this association. Several lines of research have suggested that facilitation of sexual behavior during intoxication with cocaine may be because of the direct pharmacol...
Chapter
Full-text available
Accession Number: 2010-06664-016. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Kruglanski, Arie W.; University of Maryland, College Park, MD, US. Release Date: 20100621. Correction Date: 20120618. Publication Type: Book (0200), Edited Book (0280). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Chapter. ISBN: 978-0-19-539138-1, Hardcover. Language: Engli...
Chapter
Accession Number: 2009-02739-001. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Kruglanski, Arie W.; Department of Psychology, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD, US. Release Date: 20090518. Publication Type: Book (0200), Edited Book (0280). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Chapter. ISBN: 978-1-60623-029-9, Hardcover....
Chapter
Full-text available
Accession Number: 2008-14699-017. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Kruglanski, Arie W.; Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD, US. Release Date: 20091019. Publication Type: Book (0200), Edited Book (0280). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Chapter. Book Type: Handbook/Manual. ISBN: 0-19...
Article
The present paper features a novel approach to motivation and self-regulation couched in conceptual terms of goal systems theory (Kruglanski et al., 2002). Goal systems theory adopts a cognitive view of motivation and highlights the interrelations of goals and means. The cognitive aspects of the theory have to do with the architecture of cognitions...
Article
Three studies investigated the process by which categorical and individuating information impacts impression formation. The authors assumed that (a) both types of information are functionally equivalent in serving as evidence for interpersonal judgments and (b) their use is determined by their accessibility and perceived applicability to the impres...
Article
Widely used explicit memory tasks seem to overestimate age-related differences in memory performance. Social and personal factors may buffer or undermine the effect of age on memory performance. In two studies, the performance of older adults was compared with the performance of younger adults. Tasks were presented either as memory tasks or non-mem...

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Projects (2)
Project
The PsyCorona study is a multinational collaboration that aims to identify psychological and cultural factors that may be relevant to the virus spread and its imminent social and material consequences. The first survey includes brief measures to assess topic-relevant beliefs, fears and frustrations, subjective states, control and efficacy, values and needs, reasoning, and behavioral self-reports. The survey at https://psycorona.org has a built-in longitudinal component as well as a broader data science mission involving metadata. Pontus Leander and Jocelyn Belanger are PI.