The Moderating Role of Need For Cognition and Counterfactual Thinking on Product Evaluation

Kai-Yu Wang, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, U.S.A.
Minli Liang, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, U.S.A.
Laura Peracchio, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, U.S.A.
Counterfactual thinking (CFT) refers to the process of reflecting on past events and simulating alternative possible outcomes. This research reports two studies exploring CFT. Experiment 1 finds that after exposure to a purchase failure, CFT encourages high need for cognition (NFC) individuals to engage in downward CFT, resulting in more positive product evaluations. Low NFC individuals invoke upward CFT after exposure to a purchase failure, resulting in lower product evaluations. By contrast, after experiencing a satisfying purchase, respondents’ product evaluations were unaffected by their processing propensity. Experiment 2 provides an extension of experiment 1 and explores the process that underlies these effects.
[ to cite ]:
Kai-Yu Wang, Minli Liang, and Laura Peracchio (2007) ,"The Moderating Role of Need For Cognition and Counterfactual Thinking on Product Evaluation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 233-234.