In two studies, we investigated for the first time the content of children's counterfactual thoughts about their own experiences. Results showed that the majority of children aged 8-13 were able to produce valid counterfactuals regarding an event that happened to them, despite not achieving an adult-level ability. Comparing counterfactual and prefactual thinking, in Study 1 we found that children showed the same temporal asymmetry previously found in adults: They focused on the controllable features of their experience more in prefactual than counterfactual thinking. However, in Study 2, comparing counterfactuals produced by children and adults after a task in which making errors became salient, children produced more controllable counterfactuals (modifying their own errors) than adults, who still focused on uncontrollable features (as in Study 1). These results suggest that the ability to reason counterfactually in complex and real-life situations is not yet fully developed at age 8-13 years, affecting counterfactual content.

"The game would have been better for me if...": children's counterfactual thinking about their own performance in a game

Stragà, M
;
Faiella, A;Ferrante, D
2022

Abstract

In two studies, we investigated for the first time the content of children's counterfactual thoughts about their own experiences. Results showed that the majority of children aged 8-13 were able to produce valid counterfactuals regarding an event that happened to them, despite not achieving an adult-level ability. Comparing counterfactual and prefactual thinking, in Study 1 we found that children showed the same temporal asymmetry previously found in adults: They focused on the controllable features of their experience more in prefactual than counterfactual thinking. However, in Study 2, comparing counterfactuals produced by children and adults after a task in which making errors became salient, children produced more controllable counterfactuals (modifying their own errors) than adults, who still focused on uncontrollable features (as in Study 1). These results suggest that the ability to reason counterfactually in complex and real-life situations is not yet fully developed at age 8-13 years, affecting counterfactual content.
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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13546783.2022.2130428?scroll=top&needAccess=true
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3032558
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