The Impact of Counterfactual Mindset on Consumer Information Processing

Guangzhi Zhao, University of Kansas, USA
Kai-Yu Wang, Brock University, Canada
Counterfactual thinking is the process of looking back at events and thinking how things could have turned out differently. Whenever individuals consider how the past might have turned out differently, they are engaging in counterfactual thinking. We propose that consumers’ preference for product feasibility and desirability will be moderated by counterfactual thinking (vs. control). Specifically, consumers’ preference for product feasibility will be boosted after going through counterfactual thinking in an unrelated domain. The results from three experiments under different contexts supported our hypotheses.
[ to cite ]:
Guangzhi Zhao and Kai-Yu Wang (2011) ,"The Impact of Counterfactual Mindset on Consumer Information Processing", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38, eds. Darren W. Dahl, Gita V. Johar, and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.