Thinking and Reasoning 17 (2):137 - 155 (2011)

Abstract
Empirical research on counterfactual thinking has found a closeness effect: people report higher negative affect if an actual outcome is close to a better counterfactual outcome. However, it remains unclear what actually is a ?close? miss. In three experiments that manipulate close counterfactuals, closeness effects were found only when closeness was unambiguously defined either with respect to a contrasted alternative, or with respect to a categorical boundary. In a real task people failed to report greater negative affect when encountering a close numerical miss, while they predicted greater negative affect hypothetically. These results show that counterfactual closeness effects on affect depend on closeness being accessible and unambiguously defined
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DOI 10.1080/13546783.2011.562079
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Editorial.Valerie Thompson - 2012 - Thinking and Reasoning 18 (1):1-4.

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