ERIC Number: EJ878877
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Is Understanding Regret Dependent on Developments in Counterfactual Thinking?
Beck, Sarah R.; Crilly, Maria
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, v27 n2 p505-510 Jun 2009
Children's understanding of counterfactual emotions such as regret and relief develops relatively late compared to their ability to imagine counterfactual worlds. We tested whether a late development in counterfactual thinking: understanding counterfactuals as possibilities, underpinned children's understanding of regret. Thirty 5- and 6-year-olds completed tasks assessing counterfactual thinking and understanding regret. Performance on the counterfactual task was better than that on the regret task. We suggest that thinking about counterfactuals as possibilities is a necessary but not sufficient cognitive development in children's understanding of regret. We discuss how other developments in counterfactual thinking may underpin children's emotional understanding.
Descriptors: Young Children, Psychological Patterns, Thinking Skills, Child Development, Cognitive Development
British Psychological Society. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-116-254-9568; Fax: +44-116-227-1314; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.bpsjournals.co.uk
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A