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The role of thought-content and mood in the preparative benefits of upward counterfactual thinking

Myers, Andrea
McCrea, Sean M.
Tyser, Maurissa
Abstract
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The results of three experiments presented here indicate that counterfactual thoughts have broad benefits for performance, independent of their content and beyond the effects of planning. These benefits were consistently dependent upon the experience of negative affect, but were eliminated when negative affect could be (mis)attributed to an intervening task. This misattribution effect is consistent with the operation of a mood-as-input process in which affect informs judgments of goal progress.
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Springer