Home WakeSpace Scholarship › Electronic Theses and Dissertations

MENTAL SIMULATION AND PERCEPTIONS OF PROBABILITY: HOW COUNTERFACTUALLY REFLECTING UPON THE PAST ALTERS PERCEPTIONS OF MEANING

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Item Files

Item Details

abstract
Increasing research attention has been given to the psychological construct of meaning and how its perception can be altered through mental simulation. Research suggests that counterfactual thinking can increase the perceived meaning of an event, but the influence of semifactuals on meaning has not yet been evaluated. This research examines the effect of counterfactual and semifactual simulation on perceptions of probabilities and meaning, and explores the role of meaning beliefs. Participants read either counterfactual or semifactual statements regarding a story of how two friends met. Following this manipulation, participants rated the perceived meaning associated with the friendship outcome. Participants also rated the perceived likelihood of the actual outcome and an alternative outcome, as well as the degree to which they believe likely and unlikely events signify meaning. As hypothesized, counterfactual and semifactual thinking led to contrasting perceptions of outcome likelihood. Interestingly, however, both counterfactual and semifactual thinking led to increased meaning ratings.
subject
Counterfactual
Meaning
Mental simulation
Semifactual
contributor
Stagnaro, Emily (author)
Petrocelli, John V. (committee chair)
Stone, Eric (committee member)
Jayawickreme, Eranda (committee member)
Priem, Jennifer (committee member)
date
2016-05-21T08:35:53Z (accessioned)
2016-05-21T08:35:53Z (available)
2016 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/59324 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
MENTAL SIMULATION AND PERCEPTIONS OF PROBABILITY: HOW COUNTERFACTUALLY REFLECTING UPON THE PAST ALTERS PERCEPTIONS OF MEANING
type
Thesis

Usage Statistics