Chapter 12 – Counterfactual Thinking
"To create more positive results in your life, replace 'if only' with 'next time'." – Anonymous
Counterfactual Thinking (CFT) - people's mental representations in words, imagery, and emotion of
possible alternatives to past event. An imagined replacement of unpleasant reality of earlier result
Types of Counterfactual Thinking
o Upward CFT - wishing that bad situation could have been better. E.g. imagining
"If Tom had run different pass route away from goalpost he would have caught ball."
o Downward CFT - imagining how things might have been worse
"At least we were in championship game unlike other eight teams in league."
o Additive CFT - imagining addition of new idea or concept to situation
"If coach had put starter back into lineup at wide receiver we wouldn't have lost."
o Subtractive CFT - taking something away from situation