Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

John McClure

John McClure

My research interests centre around several areas of social judgment: Causal attributions (folk psychology); helplessness and fatalism; biases such as unrealistic optimism; and risk judgments. Currently, my projects focus on the following questions:

(1) How do people's risk judgments, optimism, and attributions for events influence their fatalism about those events and their willingness to take preventive action?

(2) How do people explain the actions of individuals with invisible conditions that affect behaviour, such as brain injury?

(3) How do people perceive and explain intentional actions?

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Causal Attribution
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Person Perception
  • Social Cognition


Journal Articles:

  • Boyd-Wilson, B., Walkey, F., & McClure, J. (2000). Do we need positive lllusions to carry out plans: Illusions and instrumental coping. Personality and Individual Differences, 29, 1141-1152.
  • Hilton, D. J., McClure, J., & Sutton, R. M. (2010). Selecting explanations from causal chains: Do statistical principles explain preferences for voluntary causes. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 383-400.
  • McClure, J., Densley L., Liu, J. H, & Allen, M. (2001). Constraints on equifinality: Goals are good explanations only for controllable outcomes. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 99-115.
  • McClure, J., Devlin, M. E., McDowall, J., & Wade, K. (2006). Visible markers of brain injury influence attributions for adolescents’ behaviour. Brain Injury, 10, 1029-1035.
  • McClure, J., Hilton, D. J., & Sutton, R. M. (2007). Judgments of voluntary and physical causes in causal chains: Probabilistic and social functionalist criteria for attributions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 879-901.
  • McClure, J. L. (2002). Goal based explanations of actions and outcomes. European Review of Social Psychology, 12, 201-235.
  • McClure, J. L. (1998). Discounting causes of behavior: Are two reasons better than one. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 7-20.
  • McClure, J. L., Allen, M. W., & Walkey, F. H. (2001). Countering fatalism: Causal information in news reports affects judgements about earthquake damage. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 23, 109-121.
  • McClure, J. L., & Hilton, D. (1998). Are goals or preconditions better explanations: It depends on the question. European Journal of Social Psychology, 28, 897-911.
  • McClure, J. L., & Hilton, D. (1997). You can't always get what you want: when circumstances are better explanations than goals. British Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 223-240.
  • McClure J. L., Hilton, D. J., Cowan, J., Ishida, L., & Wilson, M. (2001). When people explain difficult actions, is the causal question how or why? Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 20, 339-357.
  • McClure, J. L., Walkey, F., & Allen, M. (1999). When earthquake damage is seen as preventable: Attributions, locus of control and attitudes to risk. Applied Psychology: An international review, 48, 239-256.
  • McClure, J., Sutton, R. M., & Sibley, C. (2007). Listening to reporters or engineers: How different messages about building design affect earthquake fatalism. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 1956-1973.
  • Price, J., McClure, J. L., & Siegert, R. J. (2000). What might have been and why is wasn’t: Counterfactual thinking and attributions in competitive tennis players. New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine, 28, 25-34.
  • Spittal, M., McClure, J., Walkey, F., & Siegert, R. (2008). Psychological predictors of earthquake preparation. Environment and Behavior, 40, 798-817.
  • Sutton, R., & McClure, J. (2001). Covariational influences on goal-based explanation: An integrative model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 222-236.

Courses Taught:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Personality & Social Cognition

John McClure
School of Psychology
P.O. Box 600
Victoria University of Wellintgon
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

  • Phone: +64 4 4635233
  • Fax: +64 4 4635402

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