manifestations of this deficiency in perspective taking range from the familiar hindsight effects to cases that would be classified as magical thinking.
This discussion has raised more questions than it has even attempted to answer, and it is best summarized by a partial list of these questions. How effective is the imaginary exploration of multiple courses of action in improving actual decision making? Are upward counterfactuals pleasant as well as painful, and could we use psychophysiology to tell? When are mental simulations most likely to be accurate? When are explicit and implicit causal beliefs most likel y to conflict? How can the exaggerated confidence in scenario thinking be controlled? When do counterfactuals and causes have the phenomenological status of percepts? Are most statements about causes really intended as assertions about counterfactuals? Do families who lose a member to a first heart attack or to an accident differ significantly in their mourning? Are there two kinds of regret, and what are their antecedents? Do people fear regret or regrettable consequences? Do they attribute virtual knowledge and virtual emotion to the ignorant and to the dead, and what are the limits of such attributions? One can only hope that imagining a world in which the answers to all these questions are known may have a preparatory function.
This chapter was improved by helpful comments from Dale Miller, Neal Roese, and Ariel Rubinstein.
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