The quest for meaning is an omnipresent feature of human experience, and counterfactual thinking (CFT)—or thinking about what life would be like had an event never occurred—appears to play a causal role in the meaning-making process. The current study examined the effects of temporal distance in an already established model linking CFT to event meaning by way of both benefit finding and perceived fate. Participants (n = 154) reflected on a personally significant turning point—either within the past year or at least 2 years ago—and engaged in either CFT or significance finding (i.e., reporting on the significance of an event). Contrary to the hypothesis, temporal distance did not moderate the relationship between type of reflection and either benefit finding or perceived fate. Further research is needed to illuminate the full-spectrum of social cognitive processes that contribute to the construction of event meaning.
|Advisor:||Thoman, Dustin B.|
|Commitee:||Jackson, Matthew C., Pedersen, William C.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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