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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Counterfactual Reasoning: Sharpening Conceptual Distinctions in Developmental Studies
Author(s): Rafetseder, Eva
Perner, Josef
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Keywords: counterfactual reasoning
basic conditional reasoning
counterfactual emotions
developmental studies
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Date Deposited: 27-May-2014
Citation: Rafetseder E & Perner J (2014) Counterfactual Reasoning: Sharpening Conceptual Distinctions in Developmental Studies. Child Development Perspectives, 8 (1), pp. 54-58.
Abstract: Counterfactual reasoning (CFR)—mentally representing what the world would be like now if things had been different in the past—is an important aspect of human cognition and the focus of research in areas such as philosophy, social psychology, and clinical psychology. More recently, it has also gained broad interest in cognitive developmental psychology, mainly focusing on the question of how this kind of reasoning can be characterized. Studies have been inconsistent in identifying when children can use CFR. In this article, we present theoretical positions that may account for this inconsistency and evaluate them in the light of research on counterfactual emotions.
DOI Link: 10.1111/cdep.12061
Rights: © 2014 The Authors. Child Development Perspectives published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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