Patrizia Catellani is full professor of Social Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy (Faculty of Political and Social Sciences and Department of Psychology).
After getting her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan (1985), she became research assistant (1987), associate professor (1998), and then full professor (2001), same university. She was visiting scholar at the Free University of Amsterdam, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, University of Kent, and Cardiff University. Presently, she teaches Political Psychology, Social Psychology, and Psychology of Food and Lifestyles.
She is Director of the Psychology, Law and Policy Lab (PsyLab).
She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Social Survey (ESS), the Research Infrastructure PNRR Fostering Open Science in Social Science (FOSSR) the International Panel on Behavior Change (IPBC), the Review College of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). She is a member of the Executive Committee of the High School 'Federico Stella' on Criminal Justice (ASGP) and the Research Centre on Media and Communication (OSSCOM).
She is expert reviewer of several scientific journals, such as: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Environmental Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology, Social Science & Medicine, Political Psychology, Political Communication, Journal of Language and Social Psychology.
She has been expert evaluator of the Research Executive Agency (REA) of the European Commission. She has also been expert advisor of research institutes, universities, and publishers, such as: Dutch Research Council (NWO), Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), University of Wellington Victoria, and Psychology Press.
She is a member of the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP), the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), and Italian National Election Studies (ITANES). From 2002 to 2008 she was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) and from 2011 to 2019 of the ITANES Research Programme.
She has coordinated and participated in several research projects sponsored by the European Union, the Italian University and Research Council, Lombardy Region, and the Catholic University of Milan.
Her research activity is focused on reasoning, decision making, and communication in different social and political contexts. One area of research investigates how people develop different representations and alternative explanations of events with political, legal, or personal relevance. The focus is on counterfactual reasoning and communication (“If... then...”), and on the conditions that can promote a complete and faithful analysis of events or, conversely, a strategic representation of the past that highlights possible better or worse alternatives consistent with one’s own
worldview. Related research has also investigated the effects of prefactual communication aimed at promoting public policies, such as those regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation, by strategically framing possible future scenarios to appeal and convince the audience. Furthermore, she has investigated other areas of public communication, such as how to make food and health communication more effective, to promote healthy and sustainable purchasing and consumption choices. An extension of this line of research is focused on the integration between social psychology and artificial intelligence. The goal is to develop digital communication systems that use personalized framing to promote health, well-being, and sustainability. Through quick profiling, optimal communication strategies are identified for changing behaviors, respecting the resources and motivations of individuals.
She is the author of about one hundred and thirty publications, including journal articles and books.