In the present research, the authors hypothesized that additive counterfactual thinking mind-sets, activated by adding new antecedent elements to reconstruct reality, promote an expansive processing style that broadens conceptual attention and facilitates performance on creative generation tasks, whereas subtractive counter-factual thinking mind-sets, activated by removing antecedent elements to reconstruct reality, promote a relational processing style that enhances tendencies to consider relationships and associations and facilitates performance on analytical problem-solving tasks. A reanalysis of a published data set suggested that the counterfactual mind-set primes previously used in the literature tend to evoke subtractive counterfactuals. Studies 1 and 2 then demonstrated that subtractive counterfactual mind-sets enhanced performance on analytical problem-solving tasks relative to additive counterfactual mind-sets, whereas Studies 3 and 4 found that additive counterfactual mind-sets enhanced performance on creative generation tasks relative to subtractive counterfactual mind-sets.
Markman, K., M. Lindberg, L. Kray, and Adam Galinsky. "Implications of counterfactual structure for creative generation and analytical problem solving." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 33 (2007): 312-324.
Each author name for a Columbia Business School faculty member is linked to a faculty research page, which lists additional publications by that faculty member.
Each topic is linked to an index of publications on that topic.