Counterfactual Thinking and Its Effects on Well-Being, Satisfaction, and Self –Efficacy

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Abstract Studies are examined in relation to counterfactual thinking and how it can ultimately have effects on various self-perceptions and emotions. Satisfaction among students and their grades have been linked with counterfactual thinking (consideration of "might-have-been" alternatives to reality). Movement of direction is also considered, specifically when considering rape victims and their thoughts of what they could have done to prevent the outcome, presumably leading to self-blame. Self-Efficacy is addressed in terms of how it has broken the basic rules of effect, and how participants can learn from their mistakes and improve upon the use of counterfactual thinking. The research is mostly conclusive only for this newly emerged…show more content…
On the other hand, Roese (1994) also explains that upward counterfactuals may offer direction for effective useful behavior, for example, learning from your past; if you had not engaged in upward counterfactual thinking you would not have been able to assess what could have been done to better the situation or event, but now you do-in case it happens again! This very simplistic thinking could have played a role in survival; cave men must have had to learn that although they did get food hunting that they could have tried to hunt for more (upward counterfactual), maybe inflicting emotions of shame or dissatisfaction which would later encourage them to hunt for bigger game (effective useful behavior) -for the survival of themselves and their families. To be more specific, let us turn to research done with rape victims, and how counterfactual thinking may promote positive behavior (such as avoiding future victimization). But if this were true then would upward counterfactual thinking not have negative (depressive or fear emotions) effect on the victims’ well- being? Let us explore a study that takes on this question and seeks to answer it. Counterfactual Thinking and Rape Victims Research conducted by Branscombe, Wohl, Owen, Allison an N’gbala (2003) sought out to test whether rape-victims counterfactuals has affects on self blame thus, affecting their well-being. Participants consisted of 85 undergraduate women who had answered “have you ever

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