Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Counterfactual reasoning: Developing a sense of "nearest possible world"
Authors: Rafetseder, Eva
Cristi-Vargas, Renate
Perner, Josef
Contact Email:
Issue Date: Feb-2010
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Rafetseder E, Cristi-Vargas R & Perner J (2010) Counterfactual reasoning: Developing a sense of "nearest possible world", Child Development, 81 (1), pp. 376-389.
Abstract: This study investigated at what point in development 3- to 6-year-old children begin to demonstrate counterfactual reasoning by controlling for fortuitously correct answers that result from basic conditional reasoning.Basic conditional reasoningoccurs when one applies typical regularities (such as “If ‘whenever’ it doesn’t rain the street is dry”) to counterfactual questions (such as “If it had not rained, would the street be wet or dry?”) without regard to actual events (e.g., if street cleaners had just been washing the street). Incounterfactual reasoning, however, the conditional reasoning must be constrained by actual events (according to the “nearest possible world”). In situations when counterfactual reasoning and basic conditional reasoning would yield the same answers, even the youngest children gave mostly correct answers. However, tasks in which the 2 reasoning strategies resulted in different answers proved unusually difficult even for the older children.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Psychology
University of Salzburg
University of Salzburg

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Rafetseder2010.pdf335.8 kBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.