Counterfactual Research News

How might your life have unfolded differently? What if your parents never met? Perhaps you should have studied harder in school, or asked out so-and-so when you had the chance. Such thoughts of what might have been seem to be a common part of everyday thought processes, sometimes irresistibly drawing our attention.

Reflections on what might have been are termed counterfactual thoughts, and psychologists are increasingly interested in the determinants of these thoughts, and also the effects of these thoughts on emotions, inferences, decisions, and behavior.

This site is intended to be a resource for students and researchers who have an interest in counterfactual thinking and related research conducted by social psychologists. Contained here are listings of in press and recently published articles, a (complete?) bibliography of counterfactual publications in social psychology, and also web links to the home pages of psychologists active in this area (hypertext links to home pages are associated with authors' last names).

If you have suggestions for improvement, email me at the address given at the bottom of this page.  The painting is Thomas Cole's (1840) The Architect's Dream.  If architect and planner Daniel Burnham had had his way earlier this century, Chicago's lakefront might today look something like this...

What is Counterfactual Thinking?
What is Regret?
Individual Differences in Counterfactual Thinking
Bibliography of Counterfactual Publications
In Press Articles
New Articles: 2002
New Articles: 2001
New Articles: 2000
New Articles: 1999
New Articles: 1998
New Articles: 1997
New Articles: 1996
New Articles: 1995

Publication Data:
Is interest in counterfactual thinking waxing or waning in social psychology?  These data are tabulations of the above listings. (It's waxing...).

Interesting Web Links:
     Uchronia: A web site dedicated to literary use of counterfactuals.
     Your Flight Has Been Cancelled:  A sad saga of lost opportunities and cancelled programs: learn more about the greatest manned spaceflights that never were.
     Small-Group Meeting on Counterfactual Thinking, sponsored by EAESP.  Held May 16-18, 2001, in Aix-en-Provence, France.

The counterfactual research news site is maintained by Neal Roese.  

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Last Updated April 26, 2002