"Acting on values: How counterfactuals influence value-behaviour correspondence"
University of Groningen - Social and Organizational Psychology
Dr. K. Epstude (University of Groningen)
Prof.dr. R. Spears (University of Groningen)
1 September 2012 - 1 September 2016
University of Groningen
Values are abstract goals that are central to people’s self-concepts. In everyday life, however, people’s actions frequently diverge from their values. We propose that counterfactuals can facilitate value-behaviour correspondence by increasing value-activation and intentions to act on values. Counterfactuals are constructed alternatives to actual states. In situations that compromise a desired value, counterfactuals may function as a reminder of how one should behave, initiating value-congruent behavioural processes. This new line of research hopes to provide understanding of a cognitive mechanism that is valuable not only for theoretical progress, but may also be applied to diverse social issues connected to values.