Depression, control, and counterfactual potency: a proposed moderated mediation model of counterfactual thinking and performance
SubjectResearch Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology
Performance -- Psychological aspects
Depression, Mental -- Psychology
AbstractThe functional theory of counterfactual thinking was created to explain the purpose and corresponding outcomes of counterfactual thoughts, thoughts in which individuals imagine how differences in past life events may have led to differences in their current circumstances. Though this theory predicts that the generation of upward counterfactual thoughts, in particular, where the imagined outcome is better than the actual outcome, leads to performance improvements between tasks due to its catalytic effect on behavior, evidence supporting this idea has been inconsistent. In light of this, two models were constructed and tested using an SPSS macro known as PROCESS. In these models it was hypothesized that upward counterfactual thinking would lead to performance improvements between two anagram tasks through increases in perceived control. Further, the magnitude of this enhancement effect was predicted to vary with the degree of plausibility perceived by the thinker, and would not occur for individuals experiencing depression. As both of these models were unsupported, the chosen methodology for this study was evaluated and the relationship between counterfactual thinking and performance was considered further.
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