Outcome Controllability and Counterfactual Thinking

@article{Roese1995OutcomeCA,
  title={Outcome Controllability and Counterfactual Thinking},
  author={Neal J. Roese and James M. Olson},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={1995},
  volume={21},
  pages={620 - 628}
}
The impact of outcome controllability on the direction of counterfactual thoughts (reconstructions of past outcomes based on "might have been"alternatives) was examined in two laboratory experiments. Counterfactual direction reflects the distinction between upward counterfactuals (focusing on how things could have been better) and downward counterfactuals (focusing on how things could have been worse). Previous research has shown that upward counterfactuals are more frequent after failure, even… 

The Functional Basis of Counterfactual Thinking

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Research suggests that counterfactuals and preventability ascriptions play an important role in determining the perceived cause of a target outcome, but results indicate that the primary criterion used to recruit causal ascriptions (covariation) differs from that used to recruited counterfactUALs (controllability).

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The control-gaining influence of counterfactual thought was examined in a month-long study of real-life exam performances. Participants were contacted immediately after receiving a test grade, the

Self-Efficacy and Counterfactual Thinking: Up a Creek with and without a Paddle

Two studies examined self-efficacy as a moderator of the consequences of upward and downward counterfactual thinking. In both studies, self-efficacy was manipulated by false feedback after performing

Downward Counterfactual Thinking 1 Running Head : DOWNWARD COUNTERFACTUAL THINKING Looking on the Bright Side : Downward Counterfactual Thinking in Response to Stressful Life Events

Although the literature has identified both a self-enhancement and a self-improvement function of counterfactual thinking, most evidence points to situations in which the self-improvement function

Looking on the Bright Side: Downward Counterfactual Thinking in Response to Negative Life Events

The authors suggest that under conditions in which self-enhancement motives are prominent, downward counterfactuals will be more frequent than upward counterfactUALs.

Counterfactual thinking.

  • N. Roese
  • Psychology
    Psychological bulletin
  • 1997
The author reviews research in support of the assertions that (a) counterfactual thinking is activated automatically in response to negative affect, (b) the content ofcounterfactuals targets particularly likely causes of misfortune, (c) counter Factuals produce negative affective consequences through a contrast-effect mechanism and positive inferential consequencesthrough a causal-inference mechanism, and (d) the net effect of counterfactUAL thinking is beneficial.

Motivation and Counterfactual Thinking: The Moderating Role of Implicit Theories of Intelligence

DYCZEWSKI, ELIZABETH A., M.S., June 2011, Psychology Motivation and Counterfactual Thinking: The Moderating Role of Implicit Theories of Intelligence (69 pp.) Director of Thesis: Keith D. Markman Two
...

References

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