David Marcusson-Clavertz

David Marcusson-Clavertz

Associate professor
Department of Psychology Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
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My background:

I obtained my PhD from Lund University, Sweden, in 2016. My dissertation was focused on understanding individual differences in mind wandering, why some people spend more time mind wandering than others do. 

In 2016 I joined Pennsylvania State University, USA, to do a post-doc at the department of Biobehavioral Health. This project was focused on understanding everyday stress responses in daily life, and how they may relate to sleep behaviors and physical activity. 

In 2018-2019 I continued my work on mind wandering at Lund University and visited Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, as a visiting scholar, to examine anomalous mental phenomena.

In 2020 I joined the department of Psychology at Linnaeus University, Sweden, to work as a lecturer. I continue conducting research on mind wandering, everyday stress responses, and anomolaous mental phenomena.



I teach in the following subjects:


Cognitive psychology

Perceptual and cognitive functions, 7.5 credits (1PS522) 

Psychology I, distance course, 30 credits (1PS602) [Cognitive psychology and Neuroscience]

Quantitative research methods, statistics, and theory of science

Introduction to philosophy of science, methodology, and statistics, 7.5 credits (1PS524) 

Philosophy of science, methodology, and statistics, 7.5 credits (1PS527)

Psychology II, 30 credits (1PS601) [statistics]

Psychology III, general or organizational, including
independent project, 30 credits (2PS63E) [quantitative research methods, statistics, & research plan]

Psychology III, general, including independent project,
distance course, 30 credits (2PS62E) [quantitative research methods, theory of science, statistics, & research plan]

Philosophy of science, methodology and statistics III, 7.5 credits (4PS542) [statistics]


My current research projects include:

1. Individual differences in mind wandering

I am interested in people's tendencies to think about other things than their current task, a phenomenon called mind wandering. Some studies suggest that people mind wander about one-third of their waking time, but the time spent mind wandering differs a lot from person to person. My colleagues and I seek to improve our understanding of who mind wanders more, and when. Mind wandering is important to understand because it is associated with both costs (such as, poor performance on current tasks) and some potential benefits (such as, helping us plan our future or engage in creative problem-solving).

One perspective is that mind wandering is the result of poor attentional control, suggesting that people that are worse at controlling their attention generally mind wander a lot. Another perspective is that mind wandering--being a complex, conscious experience--consumes a lot of attentional resources and that people with greater attentional resources can allow themselves to mind wander more.

We seek to integrate these perspectives on mind wandering by considering the contents of mind wandering (such as whether you mind wander typically about emotionally negative contents) and the context of the current task (such as, the difficulty of the task). In a recent study, we distinguished between different types of attentional control skills and related them to mind wandering. This article is open access, available for free as a PDF at the following link: 

Marcusson-Clavertz, D., Persson, S. D., Cardeña, E., Terhune, D. B., Gort, C., & Kuehner, C. (2022). The contribution of latent factors of executive functioning to mind wandering: An experience sampling study. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 7(1), 34. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-022-00383-9

2. Everyday stress responses and health behaviors

Another project I am involved in seeks to better understand how everyday stress relates to enactment of health-related behaviors, including sleep and physical activity. This project is lead by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, where I spent two years as a postdoc.

We distinguish three stress response components (reactivity, recovery, pileup) and relate them to sleep and physical activity. The specific aims of this project are detailed in the following publication:

Smyth, J. M., Zawadzki, M. J., Marcusson-Clavertz, D., Scott, S. B., Johnson, J. A., Kim, J., Toledo, M. J., Stawski, R. S., Sliwinski, M. J., & Almeida, D. M. (2022). Computing components of everyday stress responses: Exploring conceptual challenges and new opportunities. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17456916221082108. https://doi.org/10.1177/17456916221082108 

3. Purported anomalous mental phenomena (such as precognition).

I am also involved in research evaluating the reproducibility of purported anomalous mental phenomena, including precognition. Precognition is the controversial claim that people's responses to stimuli can be affected retrocausally by future stimuli. An anecdotal experience that might be interpreted as precognitive would be to dream about something that matches an event that later occurs. Anecdotal experiences such as that might be explained by chance, selective memory, and confirmation biases, but experimental research on precognition attempts to rule out these alternative explanations. For theoretical perspectives on precognition and similar anomalous phenomena, I recommend the second volume of the book edited by May and colleagues (https://www.worldcat.org/title/extrasensory-perception-support-skepticism-and-science/oclc/881400803).

I have been part of two multi-laboratory collaborations that did not demonstrate an overall precognitive effect in convenience samples tested in a ordinary contexts. These articles are open access and can be downloaded through the links below:

Maier, M. A., Buechner, V. L., Dechamps, M. C., Pflitsch, M., Kurzrock, W., Tressoldi, P., Rabeyron, T., Cardeña, E., Marcusson-Clavertz, D., & Martsinkovskaja, T. (2020). A preregistered multi-lab replication of Maier et al. (2014, Exp. 4) testing retroactive avoidance. Plos One, 15(8), e0238373. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238373

Schlitz, M., Bem, D., Marcusson-Clavertz, D., Cardeña, E., Lyke, J., Grover, R., Blackmore, S., Tressoldi, P., Roney-Dougal, S., Bierman, D., Jolij, J., Lobach, E., Hartelius, G., Rabeyron, T., Bengston, W., Nelson, S., Moddel, G., & Delorme, A. (2021). Two replication studies of a time-reversed (psi) priming task and the role of expectancy in reaction times. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 35(1), 65-90. https://doi.org/10.31275/20211903






Article in journal (Refereed)

Article, review/survey (Refereed)