Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life.

Krott N, Oettingen G (2018)
Motivation Science 4(2): 137-157.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
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Autor*in
Krott, NoraUniBi ; Oettingen, Gabriele
Abstract / Bemerkung
Positive counterfactuals about an alternative past are “if only” reconstructions of the factual past. They are functional in preparing people to act when subsequent opportunities to restore the counterfactual past will arise. When the counterfactual past cannot be restored, however, counterfactuals can be dysfunctional by leading to distress and difficulties in coping with everyday life. In those cases, letting go of the counterfactual past should help people to actively engage in their present life. Previous research showed that people let go of the counterfactual past when they used the self-regulation strategy of mental contrasting. Building on these findings, we investigate whether mental contrasting helps people to actively engage in their present life. In 3 experimental studies, mental contrasting (vs. indulging in counterfactual fantasies and elaborating on irrelevant content) led people to exert effort and successfully perform in the interpersonal domain (i.e., writing a high-quality get-well letter to a close friend, Study 1), the professional domain (i.e., writing a high-quality job application, Study 2), and the academic domain (i.e., successfully solving Raven matrices, Study 3). The results suggest that mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies can help people to actively engage and succeed in their present life.
Erscheinungsjahr
2018
Zeitschriftentitel
Motivation Science
Band
4
Ausgabe
2
Seite(n)
137-157
ISSN
2333-8113
eISSN
2333-8121
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2935945

Zitieren

Krott N, Oettingen G. Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life. Motivation Science. 2018;4(2):137-157.
Krott, N., & Oettingen, G. (2018). Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life. Motivation Science, 4(2), 137-157. doi:10.1037/mot0000080
Krott, N., and Oettingen, G. (2018). Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life. Motivation Science 4, 137-157.
Krott, N., & Oettingen, G., 2018. Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life. Motivation Science, 4(2), p 137-157.
N. Krott and G. Oettingen, “Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life.”, Motivation Science, vol. 4, 2018, pp. 137-157.
Krott, N., Oettingen, G.: Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life. Motivation Science. 4, 137-157 (2018).
Krott, Nora, and Oettingen, Gabriele. “Mental contrasting of counterfactual fantasies engages people in their present life.”. Motivation Science 4.2 (2018): 137-157.

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