Despite the growing interest in the ability of foreseeing (episodic future thinking), it is still unclear how healthy people construct possible future scenarios. We suggest that different future thoughts require different processes of scene construction. Thirty-five participants were asked to imagine desirable and less desirable future events. Imagining desirable events increased the ease of scene construction, the frequency of life scripts, the number of internal details, and the clarity of sensorial and spatial temporal information. The initial description of general personal knowledge lasted longer in undesirable than in desirable anticipations. Finally, participants were more prone to explicitly indicate autobiographical memory as the main source of their simulations of undesirable episodes, whereas they equally related the simulations of desirable events to autobiographical events or semantic knowledge. These findings show that desirable and undesirable scenarios call for different mechanisms of scene construction. The present study emphasizes that future thinking cannot be considered as a monolithic entity.

Desirable and undesirable future thoughts call for different scene construction processes

NeronI MA;GAMBOZ, Nadia;BRANDIMONTE, Maria
2015

Abstract

Despite the growing interest in the ability of foreseeing (episodic future thinking), it is still unclear how healthy people construct possible future scenarios. We suggest that different future thoughts require different processes of scene construction. Thirty-five participants were asked to imagine desirable and less desirable future events. Imagining desirable events increased the ease of scene construction, the frequency of life scripts, the number of internal details, and the clarity of sensorial and spatial temporal information. The initial description of general personal knowledge lasted longer in undesirable than in desirable anticipations. Finally, participants were more prone to explicitly indicate autobiographical memory as the main source of their simulations of undesirable episodes, whereas they equally related the simulations of desirable events to autobiographical events or semantic knowledge. These findings show that desirable and undesirable scenarios call for different mechanisms of scene construction. The present study emphasizes that future thinking cannot be considered as a monolithic entity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12570/1115
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