The Effects Of Counterfactual Thinking And Basic Beliefs Essay

The Effects Of Counterfactual Thinking And Basic Beliefs Essay

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Four hundred twenty-five participants were recruited to participate in an online survey to determine the effects of counterfactual thinking. In order to test its impact, we conducted a study to see if the participant responses would change depending on what type of scenario we provided them with. In this study the participants’ where given one of two versions of a story in which a couple ends up dead. a taxi driver was rude to a couple and the other in which he was not. The results from these studies showed that male participants reported more blame than female participants. However, there was a significant main effect in rudeness between both conditions (driver rude and the neutral). We also found that male participants reported less “if only” statements than female participants. However there was no significant main effect in rudeness between both conditions (driver rude and the neutral).
Keywords: counterfactual thinking, impoliteness, gender, decision-making, regret

If Only fragments: The Effects of Counterfactual Thinking and Basic Beliefs
Each student reacts differently at the end of the semester. While some reflect deeply on their grades, others will not give a second thought to the grade they receive. According to Acquits, Ainsworth, Baumeister, Daly and Stillman (2015), these students who reflect on their grade and say "What if" and "If I had only...” are taking part in what is called counterfactual thinking. The focus of this paper will be how basic beliefs influence the decisions of the participants when thinking about how things could have gone differently.
One of the features that predict whether a situation generates many or few counterfactual thoughts is how we control and perceive the situation (Byrne, 2005). ...


... middle of paper ...


...couple dies after they drown in the river. Based on prior research, we expect males to place more blame on the taxi driver than females when the taxi driver is rude to the passengers. However, when there is no verbal interaction between the taxi driver and the couple, we expect both genders to place less blame on the taxi driver since the outcome was inevitable.
I also hypothesized that the responses given by the participants would be influenced by the participant’s gender and the rudeness shown in each scenario. One factor that would be affected by gender would be the number of “if only” statements participants create. Based on prior research, we expect males to create less “if only” statements than females. However, when there is no verbal interaction between the taxi driver and the couple, we expect both genders to create the same amount of “if only” statements.

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