Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Learning from yesterday's mistakes to fix tomor...
View graph of relations

Learning from yesterday's mistakes to fix tomorrow's problems: when functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance collide

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published

Standard

Learning from yesterday's mistakes to fix tomorrow's problems : when functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance collide. / Smallman, Rachel; McCulloch, Kathleen C.

In: European Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 42, No. 3, 04.2012, p. 383-390.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Author

Bibtex

@article{c5035a5dbd194b2491e71fb143f48837,
title = "Learning from yesterday's mistakes to fix tomorrow's problems: when functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance collide",
abstract = "Functional counterfactual thinking involves a unique set of circumstances where one can both reflect on past events and imagine future possibilities. A key aspect of a counterfactual's functionality is that insight about past mistakes is converted into plans for future action, thereby improving self-regulatory success. If counterfactual thinking is a self-regulatory tool, then it should be similarly impacted by psychological mechanisms that influence peoples' ability to improve future outcomes. The current research tested one such mechanism, psychological distance. Using a sequential priming paradigm, Experiment 1 showed that functional counterfactual thinking is sensitive to changes in temporal distance. Negative events in the recent versus distant past facilitated relevant behavioral intention judgments. Additionally, functional counterfactual thinking was sensitive to changes in the relevant behavioral intention's temporal distance, such that counterfactual judgments facilitated behavioral intentions set to occur in the near but not distant future (Experiment 2). Together, this research creates new connections between functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance. Copyright (C) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.",
keywords = "counterfactual thinking, intentions , psychological distance , temporal distance , self-regulation",
author = "Rachel Smallman and McCulloch, {Kathleen C.}",
year = "2012",
month = apr,
doi = "10.1002/ejsp.1858",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "383--390",
journal = "European Journal of Social Psychology",
issn = "0046-2772",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Learning from yesterday's mistakes to fix tomorrow's problems

T2 - when functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance collide

AU - Smallman, Rachel

AU - McCulloch, Kathleen C.

PY - 2012/4

Y1 - 2012/4

N2 - Functional counterfactual thinking involves a unique set of circumstances where one can both reflect on past events and imagine future possibilities. A key aspect of a counterfactual's functionality is that insight about past mistakes is converted into plans for future action, thereby improving self-regulatory success. If counterfactual thinking is a self-regulatory tool, then it should be similarly impacted by psychological mechanisms that influence peoples' ability to improve future outcomes. The current research tested one such mechanism, psychological distance. Using a sequential priming paradigm, Experiment 1 showed that functional counterfactual thinking is sensitive to changes in temporal distance. Negative events in the recent versus distant past facilitated relevant behavioral intention judgments. Additionally, functional counterfactual thinking was sensitive to changes in the relevant behavioral intention's temporal distance, such that counterfactual judgments facilitated behavioral intentions set to occur in the near but not distant future (Experiment 2). Together, this research creates new connections between functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance. Copyright (C) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

AB - Functional counterfactual thinking involves a unique set of circumstances where one can both reflect on past events and imagine future possibilities. A key aspect of a counterfactual's functionality is that insight about past mistakes is converted into plans for future action, thereby improving self-regulatory success. If counterfactual thinking is a self-regulatory tool, then it should be similarly impacted by psychological mechanisms that influence peoples' ability to improve future outcomes. The current research tested one such mechanism, psychological distance. Using a sequential priming paradigm, Experiment 1 showed that functional counterfactual thinking is sensitive to changes in temporal distance. Negative events in the recent versus distant past facilitated relevant behavioral intention judgments. Additionally, functional counterfactual thinking was sensitive to changes in the relevant behavioral intention's temporal distance, such that counterfactual judgments facilitated behavioral intentions set to occur in the near but not distant future (Experiment 2). Together, this research creates new connections between functional counterfactual thinking and psychological distance. Copyright (C) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KW - counterfactual thinking

KW - intentions

KW - psychological distance

KW - temporal distance

KW - self-regulation

U2 - 10.1002/ejsp.1858

DO - 10.1002/ejsp.1858

M3 - Journal article

VL - 42

SP - 383

EP - 390

JO - European Journal of Social Psychology

JF - European Journal of Social Psychology

SN - 0046-2772

IS - 3

ER -