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Counterfactual-seeking: The scenic overlook of the road not taken

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dc.contributor.author Summerville, Amy en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-25T19:30:34Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-07-10T15:09:41Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-25T19:30:34Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-07-10T15:09:41Z
dc.date.issued 2011-07-25 en_US
dc.identifier.uri
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2374.MIA/4437 en_US
dc.description.abstract Decision-makers faced with an opportunity to learn the outcome of a foregone alternative must balance anticipated regret, should that information be unfavorable, with the potential benefits of this information in reducing experienced regret. Counterfactualseeking, the choice to learn more about foregone alternatives, may be a functional, regretregulating strategy for individuals already experiencing regret. Counterfactual-seeking increases in response to dissatisfying outcomes (Studies 1 & 2). Counterfactual-seeking is generally able to reduce dissatisfaction (Study 2), regardless of whether individuals personally chose to view this information or were randomly assigned to do so (Study 3). Moreover, both imaginative (versus factual) thoughts about the foregone option and upward (versus downward) counterfactual thoughts play a role in this improvement in satisfaction (Study 4). Regret thus has a complex influence in how individuals engage with counterfactual information. en_US
dc.subject counterfactual en_US
dc.subject regret en_US
dc.subject decision-making en_US
dc.subject affect en_US
dc.subject information seeking en_US
dc.title Counterfactual-seeking: The scenic overlook of the road not taken en_US
dc.description.version In press at Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin en_US
dc.date.published 2011 en_US


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