In decision-making when we choose among alternatives, we may have the opportunity to compare the consequences of our choices with the consequences of foregone options, or with the consequences of choices other people made. In a private context, the unfavorable counterfactual comparison between obtained and foregone outcomes (what might have been) can generate regret. In a social environment, unfavorable social comparison might generate interpersonal negative counterfactuals and elicit envy. In my talk I will discuss how private and social counterfactual emotions may be useful to improve our decisions.
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