The Situationist

Posts Tagged ‘counterfactual thinking’

The Situational Effects of Counterfactuals

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 19, 2010

From UCBerkeleyHaas:

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According to new research by management professors Laura Kray and Philip Tetlock, at the Haas School, UC Berkeley, counterfactual thinking — considering a turning point moment in the past and alternate universes had it not occurred — heightens ones perception of the moment as significant, and even fated. Armed with a sense that life may not be arbitrary, counterfactual thinkers, the study suggests, are more motivated and analytical in organizational settings.

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For a sample of related Situationst posts, see “The Situation of Regret,” Why You Bought That,” and “Behavioral Economics and Policy.”

Posted in Emotions, Social Psychology | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Situationism in the Blogosphere – October, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on November 21, 2008

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during October 2008. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.)

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From Experimental Philosophy: “Causal Judgment and Moral Judgment

“It is now widely believed that people’s moral judgments can affect their causal judgments, but a great deal of confusion remains about precisely why this effect arises. . . . Our hypothesis draws on the idea that people’s causal judgments are based on counterfactual reasoning.” Read more . . .

From The Frontal Cortex: “Anchoring and Credit Cards

“New research by the University of Warwick reveals that many credit card customers become fixated on the level of minimum payments given on credit card bills. The mere presence of a minimum payment is enough to reduce the actual amount many people choose to pay on their bills, leading to further interest payments.”  Read more . . .

From Inquisitive Mind: “Social Judgment: Warmth and Competence are Universal Dimensions” 

“How do you make sense of Barack Obama and John McCain? The odds are that you judge them mainly on two dimensions: warm/cold and (in)competence. Depending on your experience of them, you may judge one of them as both warm and competent, evoking your admiration and pride; and perhaps the other as neither warm nor competent, which triggers a sense of contempt and disgust. Or perhaps you view one as warm but not competent, which generates pity and sympathy; or finally, you could judge one of them as cold but competent, leading to feelings of resentment and even envy. All the media hoopla boils down to these two dimensions, which determine the outcomes of Presidential campaigns, but also our ordinary perceptions of other people as individuals or as group members.” Read more . . .

From Legal Theory Blog: “Legal Theory Lexicon: Legitimacy

Legitimacy. It’s a word much bandied about by students of the law. “Bush v. Gore was an illegitimate decision.” “The Supreme Court’s implied fundamental rights jurisprudence lacks legitimacy.” “The invasion of Iraq does not have a legitimate basis in international law.” We’ve all heard words like these uttered countless times, but what do they mean? Can we give an account of “legitimacy” that makes that concept meaningful and distinctive? Is “legitimacy” one idea or is it several different notions, united by family resemblance rather than an underlying conceptual structure.” Read more . . .

From Mind Hacks: “Feeling Out of Control Sparks Magical Thinking

Psychology Today journalist Matthew Hutson covers some fascinating experiments just published in this week’s Science that found that reducing participants’ control increase the tendency for magical thinking and the perception of illusory meaning in random or patternless visual scenes.” Read more . . .

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For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click on the “Blogroll” category in the right margin.

Posted in Abstracts, Blogroll | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Situatiolympics – Abstracts

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 17, 2008

Today’s Boston Globe section “Uncommon Knowledge” abstracts several interesting studies related to the olympics, including two that are quite situationist: one discussing bias in Olympic coverage and the other examining the influence of expectations and counterfactual thinking among medalists. We’ve excerpted those two abstracts below.

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Billings, A. et al., “The Games Through the NBC Lens: Gender, Ethnic, and National Equity in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media (June 2008):

This study out of Clemson catalogued all commentary by NBC-affiliated personalities during the network’s prime-time coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Not only were men covered and mentioned more extensively (even when the women were more successful), but attributions of success and failure differed by gender, too. Male athletes were seen as more composed and intelligent in victory, and less committed in defeat. Female athletes were seen as more courageous in victory, and weaker athletes in defeat. The differences were more prevalent among on-site reporters than among the (more scripted) anchors. A similar pattern was found with regard to nationality. Americans were seen as having more concentration, composure, commitment, and courage in victory, while non-Americans were granted more athletic skill. The authors note that “parallels between long-held racial stereotypes (e.g., blacks being ‘born’ athletes and whites being superior intellectually) may transfer in similar ways within the domain of nationalism.”

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McGraw, P. et al., “Expectations and Emotions of Olympic Athletes,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (July 2005) (pdf here):

After the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, a team of psychologists published a widely cited study showing that Olympic athletes who had just won a bronze medal appeared to be happier than those who had just won a silver medal. The psychologists concluded that athletes’ emotional responses were not explained by missed expectations but, instead, by close-call counterfactuals: Bronze-medal winners were focused on the fact that they had come close to not winning a medal at all, while the silver-medal winners were focused on the fact that they had come close to winning a gold medal. After the 2000 Sydney Olympics, another team of psychologists updated these findings with a renewed emphasis on the role of prior expectations. They repeated the earlier study – but this time with Sydney athletes, and not just with bronze- and silver-medal winners – and found that performance, relative to media predictions or qualifying-event finishes, was the primary determinant of athletes’ emotions.

Posted in Abstracts, Emotions, Implicit Associations, Positive Psychology, Social Psychology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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