Development and validation of the counterfactual thinking for negative events scale

Mark S. Rye, Melissa B. Cahoon, Rahan S. Ali, Tarika Daftary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We examined the psychometric properties of the newly created Counterfactual Thinking for Negative Events Scale (CTNES) in two studies involving university undergraduates. In Study 1 (N = 634), factor analysis revealed four subscales that correspond with various types of counterfactual thinking: Nonreferent Downward, Other-Referent Upward, Self-Referent Upward, and Nonreferent Upward. The subscales were largely orthogonal and had adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The CTNES subscales were positively correlated with a traditional method of assessing counterfactual thinking and were related as expected to contextual aspects of the negative event, negative affect, and cognitive style. In Study 2 (N = 208), we further examined the validity of the scale and demonstrated that the subscales were sensitive to an experimental manipulation concerning the type of negative event participants recalled. Moreover, the CTNES subscales correlated in the expected direction with measures of coping and cognitive style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


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