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Explaining intention to reduce red and processed meat in the UK and Italy using the Theory of Planned Behaviour, meat-eater identity, and the Transtheoretical Model.

Wolstenholme, E., Carfora, V., Catellani, P., Poortinga, V. & Whitmarsh, L. (2021). Appetite, 166, 105467. 

Why do consumers intend to purchase natural food? Integrating theory of planned behavior, value-belief-norm theory, and trust.

Carfora, V., Cavallo, C., Catellani, P., Giudice, T.D., & Cicia, G. (2021). Nutrients, 13, 1904. 

A cognitive-emotional model to explain message framing effects: Reducing meat consumption. 

Carfora, V., Pastore, M. & Catellani, P. (2021). Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 583209. 

Hindsight bias and electoral outcomes: Satisfaction counts more than winner-loser status

Bertolotti, M. & Catellani, P. (2021). Social Cognition, 39, 201–224. 

Framing messages on the economic impact of climate change policies: Effects on climate believers and climate skeptics

Bertolotti, M., Catellani, P., & Nelson, T. (2021). Environmental Communication, 15, 715-730. 

How expert witnesses’ counterfactuals influence causal and responsibility attributions of mock jurors and expert judges. 

Catellani, P., Bertolotti, M., Vagni, M., & Pajardi, D. (2021). Applied Cognitive Psychology, 35, 3-17.   

european-journalCatellani, P. & Bertolotti, M. (2014). European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 82-92. pdf


Research on counterfactuals (‘If only…’) has seldom considered the effects of counterfactual communication, especially in a defensive context. In three studies, we investigated the effects of counterfactual defences employed by politicians. We assumed that self-focused upward counterfactuals (‘If only I…, the outcome would have been better’) are a form of concession, other-focused upward counterfactuals (‘If only they…, the outcome would have been better’) are a form of excuse, and self-focused downward counterfactuals (‘If only I…, the outcome would have been worse’) are a form of justification. In Study 1, a counterfactual defence led to a more positive evaluation of the politician than a corresponding factual defence. Of the two types of defence, the counterfactual defence reduced the extent to which the politician was held responsible for the past event and was perceived as more convincing. In Study 2, counterfactual excuse and counterfactual justification were equally effective and led to a more positive evaluation of the politician than counterfactual concession. In Study 3, the higher effectiveness of counterfactual justification was independent from perceived ideological similarity with the politician, supporting the strength of this defence. These results show that counterfactual defences provide subtle communication strategies that effectively influence social judgements. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Patrizia Catellani

Professore ordinario
di Psicologia Sociale
Dipartimento di Psicologia
Università Cattolica di Milano
Largo Gemelli, 1
I-20123 Milano
Tel: 02-72342906
Cell.: 3356741468
Fax: 02-72342280