Counterfactual thinking

Overview[ edit ] The term "Counterfactual" is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as contrary to the facts. A person may imagine how an outcome could have turned out differently, if the antecedents that led to that event were different. Ideas that create a more negative outcome are downward counterfactuals and those thoughts that create a more positive outcome are considered upward counterfactuals. They can also affect how they view social situations, such as who deserves blame and responsibility.

Counterfactual thinking

Counterfactual Thinking Background and History

Description Counterfactual thinking is thinking about a past that did not happen. This can be so powerful we can change our Counterfactual thinking memories, adjusting the facts and creating new memories. It can happen to cover up trauma or may be just excuses to avoid facing uncomfortable truths.

It can also be to explain what is otherwise unexplainable. This effect is increased by: We can also do the reverse, thinking about bad things that did not happen, such as when we narrowly avoid being in an accident.

Counterfactual Thinking Definition

Counterfactual thinking often happens around situations of perceived 'luck'. Research Kahneman and Tversky offered the following scenario to a number of people: Tees were scheduled to leave the airport on different flights, at the same time.

They traveled from town in the same limousine, were caught in a traffic jam, and arrived at the airport 30 minutes after scheduled departure time of their flights. Crane is told that his flight left on time.

Tees is told that his flight was delayed, and just left five minutes ago. Who is more upset, Mr. Tees would be more upset. Just missing the flight would increase the chance of him generating the counterfactual thoughts of having caught it. Example Silver medal winners do it all the time. The closeness to winning causes much regret and they need to excuse themselves for their 'failure'.

In a reverse effect, Bronze medal winners often feel lucky to get a medal, as they were very close to not getting a medal at all. Young people may regret taking a course at college that they do not enjoy. Older people will regret dropping out or not switching to the right course.

Using it Cause tension by highlighting something about the other person that will cause dissonance, then offer a new thought that can replace the uncomfortable thought. Encourage them to accept the new thought. A neat form is 'What if you had Defending You are human and imperfect. Beware of people trying to change history.Counterfactual Thinking Definition.

Counterfactual thinking focus on how the past might have been, or the present could be, different. These thoughts are usually triggered by negative events that block one’s goals and desires.

Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History and millions of other books are available for instant | Audible.

Egoism. In philosophy, egoism is the theory that one’s self is, or should be, the motivation and the goal of one’s own action. Egoism has two variants, descriptive or normative.

A counterfactual conditional (abbreviated CF), is a conditional containing an if-clause which is contrary to term "counterfactual conditional" was coined by Nelson Goodman in , extending Roderick Chisholm's () notion of a "contrary-to-fact conditional".

Counterfactual thinking

The study of counterfactual speculation has increasingly engaged the interest of scholars in a wide range of domains such as. What Might Have Been: The Social Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking [Neal J.

Counterfactual thinking

Roese, James M. Olson] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Within a few short years, research on counterfactual thinking has mushroomed, establishing itself as one of the signature domains within social psychology. Counterfactuals are thoughts of what might have been.

As a time horizon passes, choices that were once available may become impossible. Counterfactual thinking is the practice of examining the impossible to extract insights that can be applied elsewhere.

Uchronia: The Alternate History List