The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking

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David R. Mandel, Denis J. Hilton, Patrizia Catellani
Routledge, 2005 - Psychology - 251 pages
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It is human nature to wonder how things might have turned out differently - either for the better or for the worse. For the past two decades psychologists have been intrigued by this phenomenon, which they call counterfactual thinking. Specifically, researchers have sought to answer the 'big' questions: Why do people have such a strong propensity to generate counterfactuals, and what functions does counterfactual thinking serve? What are the determinants of counterfactual thinking, and what are its adaptive and psychological consequences? This important work brings together a collection of thought-provoking papers by social and cognitive psychologists who have made important theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of this topic. The essays in this volume contain novel theoretical insights, and, in many cases descriptions of previously unpublished empirical studies. "The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking" provides an excellent overview of this fascinating topic for researchers, as well as advanced undergraduates and graduates in psychology - particularly those with an interest in social cognition, social judgement, decision making, thinking and reasoning.

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About the author (2005)

David R. Mandel is a Defence Scientist with the Department of National Defence in Canada. His areas of research expertise include thinking and reasoning, judgment and decision making, and social cognition.

Denis J. Hilton is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Toulouse-II. His research interests include social cognition, reasoning, judgment, and experimental economics.

Patrizia Catellani is Full Professor of Social Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Her research is focused on the area of cognitive social psychology, with a particular emphasis on applications to the political and judicial contexts.

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