Counterfactual Thoughts, Self-Efficacy, and Envy
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Recent research has distinguished two separate forms of envy. These constructs are called benign and malicious envy. To date, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the predictors. Therefore, the goal of the current study was how the effect of counterfactual thoughts on malicious and benign envy relates to self-efficacy. In an online study (N = 37) participants re-experienced a situation in which they felt envy and formed counterfactual thoughts about this situation. Counterfactual thoughts were found to not affect either form of envy. Self-efficacy positively affected malicious envy and did not affect benign envy. All of these findings are contrary to previous literature. Therefore, the current study challenges the existing theories. Furthermore, more research must be conducted to properly understand the underlying mechanisms of the effect of counterfactual thoughts on malicious and benign envy. Also, the motivational benefits to improve oneself related to self-efficacy have to be re-evaluated.