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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Counterfactual curiosity: Motivated thinking about what might have been
Author(s): FitzGibbon, Lily
Murayama, Kou
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Keywords: Information seeking
decision making
Date Deposited: 31-May-2022
Citation: FitzGibbon L & Murayama K (2022) Counterfactual curiosity: Motivated thinking about what might have been. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Abstract: Counterfactual information, information about what might have been, forms the content of counterfactual thoughts and emotions like regret and relief. Recent research suggests that human adults and children, as well as rhesus monkeys, demonstrate "counterfactual curiosity": they are motivated to seek out counterfactual information after making decisions. Based on contemporary theories of curiosity and information seeking and a broad range of empirical literature, we suggest multiple heterogeneous psychological processes that contribute to people's motivation for counterfactual information. This includes processes that are identified in the curiosity literature more generally-the potential utility of counterfactual information for adaptive decision making (its long-term instrumental value) and the drive to reduce uncertainty. Additionally, we suggest that counterfactual information may be particularly alluring because of its role in causal reasoning; its relationship with prediction and decision making; and its potential to fulfil emotion regulation and
DOI Link: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0340
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Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming

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