Conditional Reasoning and Emotional Experience: A Review of the Development of Counterfactual Thinking

Sarah R. Beck, Daniel P. Weisberg, Patrick Burns, Kevin J. Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What do human beings use conditional reasoning for? A psychological consequence of counterfactual conditional reasoning is emotional experience, in particular, regret and relief. Adults' thoughts about what might have been influence their evaluations of reality. We discuss recent psychological experiments that chart the relationship between children's ability to engage in conditional reasoning and their experience of counterfactual emotions. Relative to conditional reasoning, counterfactual emotions are late developing. This suggests that children need not only competence in conditional reasoning, but also to engage in this thinking spontaneously. Developments in domain general cognitive processing (the executive functions) allow children to develop from conditional reasoning to reasoning with counterfactual content and, eventually, to experiencing counterfactual emotions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-689
JournalStudia Logica
Volume102
Issue number4
Early online date04 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Counterfactuals
  • Developmental psychology
  • Emotion
  • Regret

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Logic
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Conditional Reasoning and Emotional Experience: A Review of the Development of Counterfactual Thinking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this