Retrospective future thinking: Keeping distant personal future events mentally close

Ayleen Verena Roderer*, Annette Bohn, Lynn Ann Watson

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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By manipulating our basic mode of prospectively thinking about the future, the present study examines the effect of retrospective future thinking on future events imagined as if they had already taken place. Here, 142 young adults were randomly assigned to report five autobiographical future events either prospectively from the perspective of their current self or retrospectively, imagining events from the perspective of their 100-year-old self. Participants indicated the expected age of occurrence and assessed phenomenological characteristics for each event. Results suggest that a shift in future thinking perspective affects the content and temporal distribution of future events. Characteristics of prospective future events diminished with increasing distance, whereas retrospective future events included overall more spatial details and remained high on belief in occurrence, vividness, and rehearsal across life. Retrospective future thinking influences the psychological distance of autobiographical future events, allowing us to hold even distant future events psychologically close.
TidsskriftQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Sider (fra-til)1817-1829
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023


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