This book provides a critical overview of significant developments in research and theory on counterfactual thinking that have emerged in recent years and spotlights exciting new directions for future research in this area. Key issues considered include the relations between counterfactual and casual reasoning, the functional bases of counterfactual thinking, the role of counterfactual thinking in the experience of emotion and the importance of counterfactual thinking in the context of crime and justice.
Part 1: Counterfactuals, Causality and Mental Representation. Counterfactual and Causal Explanation: From Early Theoretical Views to New Frontiers D.R. Mandel. The Relation between Counterfactual and Causal Reasoning B.A. Spellman, A.P. Kincannon and S.J. Stose. The Course of Events: Counterfactuals, Causal Sequences and Explanation D.J. Hilton, J.L. McClure and B.R. Slugoski. The Mental Representation of What Might Have Been C.R. Walsh and R.M. J. Bryne Part 2: Functional Bases of Counterfactual Thinking. Reflective and Evaluative Modes of Mental Simulation K.D. Markman and M.N. McMullen. Scenario Simulations in Learning: Forms and Functions at the Individual and Organizational Levels S. Segura and M.W. Morris. Finding Meaning from Mutability: Making Sense and Deriving Significance through Counterfactual Thinking. A.D. Galinsky, K.A. Liljenquist, L.L. Kray and N.J. Roese Part 3: Counterfactual Thinking and Emotion. When a Small Difference Makes a Big Difference: Counterfactual Thinking and Luck K.H. Teigen. On the Comparative Nature of Regret. M. Zeelenberg and E. van Dijk Part 4: Counterfactual Thinking in the Context of Crime, Justice and Political History. Escape from Reality: Prisoners’ Counterfactual Thinking about Crime, Justice, and Punishment M.K. Dhami, D.R. Mandel and K.A. Souza. When the Social Context Frames the Case: Counterfactuals in the Courtroom P. Catellani and P. Milesi. Theory- versus Imagination-Driven Thinking about Historical Counterfactuals: Are We Prisoners of Our Preconceptions? P.E. Tetlock and E. Henik.