Photo of Michael Wohl

Michael Wohl

Management Board Member

Degrees:Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Keywords: addiction, behaviour change, prejudice, social identity and health

Research Interests

Dr. Michael Wohl (Ph.D. 2003, University of Alberta) is a Professor of Psychology at Carleton University. Broadly speaking, he has two areas of research: 1) conflict resolution and 2) disordered gambling.

Conflict resolution: This research focuses on the causes and consequences of harmdoing at both the interpersonal (one person transgressing against another) and intergroup level (historical and contemporary harm experienced by members of one group at the hands of another group). This research examines, among other things, the emotional reaction that stems from harming or being harmed (e.g., angst, guilt) and their effects on psychological and physical health. Ultimately, Wohl’s work is oriented toward seeking means for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Disordered Gambling: This research focuses on the factors that contribute to addiction (gambling) and refusal to seek treatment. The majority of this work has focused on erroneous cognitions (e.g., perceptions of luck), craving, and contextual factors (e.g., socio-economics) as predictors of continued gambling behaviour. Recently, Wohl has examined why disordered gamblers are reluctant to seek professional help and means to motivate behavioural change (e.g., promoting nostalgic revere for the pre-addicted self).
Funding for his research has come from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, Manitoba Gambling Research Program, Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, National Center for Responsible Gambling, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Representative Publications

Conflict Resolution Research

Hornsey, M. J., Wohl, M. J. A., Harris, E. A., Okimoto, T. G.,Thai, M., & Wenzel, M. (in press). Embodied remorse: Physical displays of remorse increase positive responses to public apologies, but have negligible effects on forgiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000208

Wohl, M. J. A., Tabri, N., Hollingshead, S. J., Dupuis, D. R., & Caouette, J. (in press). Empathetic collective angst predicts perpetrator group members’ support for the empowerment of the victimized group. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000176

Sprong, S., Jetten, J., Wang, Z., Peters, K., Mols, F., Verkuyten, M,… Wohl, M. J. A. (2019). “Our country needs a strong leader right now”: Inequality enhances the wish for a strong leader. Psychological Science, 30, 1-13. doi: 10.1177/0956797619875472

Tabri, N., Wohl, M. J. A., & Caouette, J. (2018). We will be harmed, it will be severe, and we can’t prevent it: Threat appraisals predict collective angst (and its consequences). European Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 72-85. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2303

Kachanoff, F. J., Caouette, J., Wohl, M. J. A., & Taylor, D. M. (2017). Allowing the victim to draw a line in history: Intergroup apology effectiveness as a function of collective autonomy support. European Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 663-676. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2260

Gambling and Behavioral Addictions Research

Hollingshead, S. J., Amar, M., Santesso, D., & Wohl, M. J. A. (2019). When should players be taught to gamble responsibly? Timing of educational information alters limit setting intentions. Addiction Research & Theory, 27, 507-514. doi: 10.1080/16066359.2018.1555818

Wohl, M. J. A., Tabri, N., & Zelenski, J. M (2019). The need for open science practices and well-conductedreplications in the field of gambling studies. International Gambling Studies, 19, 369-376. doi:10.1080/14459795.2019.1672769

Wohl, M. J. A., Kim, H. S., Salmon, M., Santesso, D., Wildschut, T., & Sedikides, C. (2018). Discontinuity-induced nostalgia improves the odds of a self-reported quit attempt among people living with addiction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 75, 83-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2017.11.011

Salmon, M. Kim, H. S., & Wohl, M. J. A. (2018). In the mindset for change: Self reported quit attempts are a product of discontinuity-induced nostalgia and incremental beliefs. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 37, 405-430. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2018.37.6.405

Wohl, M. J. A. (2018). Loyalty programs in the gambling industry: Potentials for harm and possibilities for harm minimization. International Gambling Studies, 8, 495-511. doi: 10.1080/14459795.2018.1480649

Kim, H. S., Hollingshead, S. J., & Wohl, M. J. A. (2017). Who spends money to play for free? Identifying who makes micro-transactions on social casino games (and why). Journal of Gambling Studies, 33, 525-538. doi:10.1007/s10899-016-9626-6

Wood, R. T. A., Wohl, M. J. A., Tabri, N., & Philander, K. (2017). Measuring responsible gambling amongst consumers: Development of the Positive Play Scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 227. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00227