When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation

Krott N, Oettingen G, Roese N, Jonas K, Carver C (2017)
Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA.

Konferenzbeitrag | Englisch
 
Download
Es wurden keine Dateien hochgeladen. Nur Publikationsnachweis!
Autor*in
Krott, NoraUniBi ; Oettingen, Gabriele; Roese, Neal; Jonas, Kai; Carver, Charles
Abstract / Bemerkung
Counterfactual simulations of alternative pasts influence affect, motivation, and behavior. Viewed from a goal perspective, counterfactuals represent indicators of failed goal-pursuit. They are functional as they facilitate corrective behavior if opportunities to restore the alternative past arise. If opportunities to restore the alternative past are absent, however, they are dysfunctional and hamper performance in the present. This symposium presents research on functional and dysfunctional aspects of counterfactuals. Neal Roese will give an overview of the functional theory of counterfactual thinking. He will take goals as the cognitive framework of spontaneous, episodic counterfactual thinking, presenting findings from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychopathology. He will then address conflicting evidence that has appeared recently and describe a series of new studies that chart the content of everyday, episodic counterfactuals in terms of their goal focus. His talk will suggest a nuanced view of the functional basis of counterfactual thinking. As a fitting real-life example of dysfunctional counterfactuals, Kai Jonas and Thomas Guadamuz will report effects of counterfactuals on sexual risk taking behavior. In two longitudinal studies each covering 2 months, the development of counterfactuals and sexual risk taking was observed in a sample of MSM (men having sex with men) from Asia. Counterfactuals were stable over time and correlated with sexual risk taking intentions, which, in turn, overlapped strongly with actual behavior. The findings show for the first time in a longitudinal design the influence of counterfactuals on risk taking. Jonas and Guadamuz argue that the findings are especially relevant in the context of hedonic, abstract goals, since those goals lack a defined end-state and therefore facilitate the activation of counterfactuals. The findings point to the chronic risk potential of counterfactual thinking. Nora Krott and Gabriele Oettingen then ask the question of how dysfunctional counterfactuals can be self-regulated. They first review several experiments showing that the self-regulation strategy of mental contrasting helps people to let go of dysfunctional counterfactuals, which, in turn, should liberate people to actively engage in their present life. Indeed, three experimental studies show that mental contrasting (vs. relevant control conditions) led people to actively engage and excel in the interpersonal domain (i.e., writing a high-quality get-well letter to a close friend, Study 1), the professional domain (i.e., writing a high-quality job application, Study 2), and the academic domain (i.e., successfully solving Raven matrices, Study 3). The results suggest that mental contrasting helps people to let go of dysfunctional counterfactuals and to actively engage and succeed in their present life. Charles Carver will summarize and discuss the present findings from the perspective of self-regulation of goal pursuit.
Erscheinungsjahr
2017
Konferenz
Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention
Konferenzort
Boston, USA
Konferenzdatum
2017-05-25 – 2017-05-28
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2935954

Zitieren

Krott N, Oettingen G, Roese N, Jonas K, Carver C. When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA.
Krott, N., Oettingen, G., Roese, N., Jonas, K., & Carver, C. (2017). When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA.
Krott, N., Oettingen, G., Roese, N., Jonas, K., and Carver, C. (2017).“When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation”. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA.
Krott, N., et al., 2017. When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA.
N. Krott, et al., “When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation”, Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA, 2017.
Krott, N., Oettingen, G., Roese, N., Jonas, K., Carver, C.: When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA (2017).
Krott, Nora, Oettingen, Gabriele, Roese, Neal, Jonas, Kai, and Carver, Charles. “When counterfactuals become dysfunctional: Causes and self-regulation”. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 29th Annual Convention, Boston, USA, 2017.

Export

Markieren/ Markierung löschen
Markierte Publikationen

Open Data PUB

Suchen in

Google Scholar