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

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.


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.


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.


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


The Impact of Price and Size Comparisons on Consumer Perception and Choice

Jun Yao, Macquarie University, Australia
Harmen Oppewal, Monash University, Australia
Yongfu He, Monash University, Australia

Read More


K3. Goal or Knowledge? Exploring the Nature of Culture and its Consequential Effect

Xiaohua Zhao, Tsinghua University
Fang Wan, University of Manitoba, Canada
Antonios Stamatogiannakis, IE Business School, IE University
Haiyang Yang, Johns Hopkins University

Read More


M13. Keep Consistency in Good Old Days: The Effect of Nostalgia on Consumers' Consistency Seeking Behavior

Yafeng Fan, Tsinghua University
Jing Jiang, Renmin University of China

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.