Department of Psychology

Fall 2014 Schedule of SiSR+ Speakers
All talks begin at 3:30 PM and end at 4:45 PM in the Psychology Faculty Lounge of Greene Hall (4th Floor) unless otherwise noted. Wine and light refreshments will be provided.
August 27, 2014
Group Discussion: Pre-Registration of Studies and Journals that Request/Require It
September 3, 2014
Eranda Jayawickreme, Wake Forest University, Department of Psychology
September 10, 2014
Kurt Gray, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology
Mind Perception and Morality
September 17, 2014
Julio J. Ramirez, Davidson College, Department of Psychology
Are Broken Brains Doomed to Dysfunction?
September 24, 2014
W. Richard Walker, Winston-Salem State University, Department of Psychological Sciences
Pollyanna's Revenge: How Memory and Emotion Foster Happiness
October 8, 2014
Terry D. Blumenthal, Wake Forest University, Department of Psychology

Is Reflex Inhibition a Form of Unconscious Self-Regulation?

October 15, 2014
Brielle M. Paolini, Wake Forest University, School of Medicine
Self-Regulation and Complex Brain Networks
October 22, 2014
Lara Kammrath, Wake Forest University, Department of Psychology
Deciding Whom to Seek for Support
John V. Petrocelli, Wake Forest University, Department of Psychology
Counterfactual Thinking and Regret in The Context of Close Relationships

ABSTRACT: Counterfactual thinking (i.e., mentally simulating alternatives to reality) is a cornerstone of research on decision making and regret. Many people experience their greatest regrets in the domain of close relationships. Surprisingly, close relationships research is a rare context for studying counterfactual thinking. In addition to having good current alternatives to one’s romantic partner, the present studies indicate that relationship commitment also depends on perceptions of high quality forgone alternatives. We investigate the role of counterfactual potency (i.e., perceived likelihood of mentally simulated alternatives) concerning potential dating partners from the distant past. Data generally revealed that as perceived potency of past romantic alternatives increased, regret associated with forgone dating alternatives increased and commitment to the current partner decreased. Regret associated with forgone alternatives mediated the counterfactual potency/commitment relationship. However, a sample reporting significantly greater investment size reveals the opposite – as the perceived potency of a past alternative increased, commitment to the current partner increased. An experimental study, manipulating counterfactual potency, revealed similar findings. Finally, a study testing the efficacy of a brief intervention showed that relationship regret can be reduced by increasing doubt associated with one’s counterfactuals. Results are discussed in light of the investment model of relationship commitment.

November 5, 2014
Gabriela L. Stein, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Department of Psychology
Latino Adolescents in Emerging Immigrant Communities
November 12, 2014
Mark D. Seery, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
After Bad Things Happen: Resilience From Adversity
Department of Psychology Colloquium Series
November 19, 2014
Paschal Sheeran, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology
Behavior Change: Bypassing Persuasion with Planning
Please contact Lara Kammrath ( if you would like to be added to the mailing list for this group, or if you would like to suggest a speaker for the seminar series. Self-nominations are welcome!
Webmaster: John V. Petrocelli
Wake Forest University • Winston-Salem, North Carolina • Information: 336.758.5255