Generating counterfactuals of how negative consumption might have turned out better has been viewed as functional (because it helps solve problems associated with the consumption) but painful (because it accentuates negative feelings). This research teases out these two effects and argues that they are driven by different counterfactuals. To start with, this research classifies counterfactuals into process- and outcome-focused counterfactuals. Then it demonstrates that while process-focused (vs. outcome-focused) counterfactuals better help consumers solve problems associated with the consumption, outcome-focused (vs. process-focused) counterfactuals intensify negative feelings. Findings imply consumers may enjoy the problem-solving function of counterfactual generation without hurting their feelings.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Advances in Consumer Research|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2010|