Files in this item



application/pdf3337935.pdf (999kB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Curiosity Killed the Cat, but What Did It Do to Dissonance?: Seeking Counterfactual Information
Author(s):Summerville, Amy Lynn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roese, Neal J.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:Individuals' responses to decisions are characterized by the interplay of emotions and cognitions, and as such require an organizing theoretical framework in order to be fully understood. The present research examines one such response to a decision: individuals' decisions to seek (or avoid) information about foregone alternatives following a decision, a phenomenon I term counterfactual-seeking. The currently dominant model of emotional and cognitive influences on decision making, regret-aversion (Zeelenberg, 1999), predicts that individuals are motivated to avoid counterfactual information in order to insulate themselves from potential regret. In contrast, I suggest that understanding the affective and behavioral implications of counterfactual information may be usefully informed by the theory of post-decisional cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957). I suggest that this perspective, which holds that individuals are motivated to relieve the aversive state triggered by a conflict between choosing a given option and recognizing that this option may be suboptimal, offers a valuable understanding of the phenomenon of counterfactual-seeking. In Study 1, I predict and find that counterfactual-seeking is able to reduce dissonance. Ins Studies 2 and 3, I find that negative outcomes and the experience of dissatisfaction, respectively, increase counterfactual-seeking. I argue that decision-making researchers would be wise to reconsider dissonance theory as a perspective that can grant new insights.
Issue Date:2008
Description:77 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337935
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics