Company, Country, Connections: Counterfactual Origins Increase Organizational Commitment, Patriotism, and Social Investment

Hal Ersner-Hershfield*, Adam D. Galinsky, Laura J. Kray, Brayden G. King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four studies examined the relationship between counterfactual origins-thoughts about how the beginning of organizations, countries, and social connections might have turned out differently-and increased feelings of commitment to those institutions and connections. Study 1 found that counterfactually reflecting on the origins of one's country increases patriotism. Study 2 extended this finding to organizational commitment and examined the mediating role of poignancy. Study 3 found that counterfactual reflection boosts organizational commitment even beyond the effects of other commitment-enhancing appeals and that perceptions of fate mediate the positive effect of counterfactual origins on commitment. Finally, Study 4 temporally separated the counterfactual manipulation from a behavioral measure of commitment and found that counterfactual reflection predicted whether participants e-mailed social contacts 2 weeks later. The robust relationship between counterfactual origins and commitment was found across a wide range of companies and countries, with undergraduates and M.B.A. students, and for attitudes and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1486
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • counterfactual reflection
  • organizational commitment
  • origins
  • patriotism
  • poignancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Company, Country, Connections: Counterfactual Origins Increase Organizational Commitment, Patriotism, and Social Investment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this