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counterfactual thinking

Pitfalls of Positive Thinking and How to Overcome Them

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Positive thinking may help us explore new possibilities, and it certainly feels good. But positive thinking can also get in the way of success.

Why Third Place is Usually Better than Second

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The 2019 World Athletics Championships begin this September. Expect to see a lot of third place finishers who are happier than the second-place finishers who just defeated them.

Superbowl Psychology

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By Amy Summervile

Though you may not know it, when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday—especially if you actually watch the game and not just the commercials— you’ll likely be engaging in a lot of what psychological scientists call counterfactual thinking: thoughts about “what might have been,” “at least,” and “if only.”

Research on counterfactual thought explains all kinds of surprising reactions to sporting events, and a couple of ways in which your judgment about the big game may not be as clear as you think.