Skip to main content
main-content
Top

Tip

Swipe om te navigeren naar een ander artikel

29-04-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 7/2020

Psychological Research 7/2020

My future is brighter than yours: the positivity bias in episodic future thinking and future self-images

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 7/2020
Auteurs:
Sinué Salgado, Dorthe Berntsen
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Numerous studies on episodic future thinking have demonstrated that individuals perceive their future as more positive and idyllic than their past. It has been suggested that this positivity bias might serve a self-enhancement function. Yet, conflicting findings and lack of systematic studies on the generalizability of the phenomenon leave this interpretation uncertain. We provide the first systematic examination of the positivity bias across different domains and tasks of future thinking. First, we use the same tasks in two different domains of future thinking, representing an episodic (events) and a semantic dimension (self-images), respectively. Second, we use two different measures of positivity bias (i.e., frequency of positive versus negative instances and their distance from present). Third, we contrast each measure in each domain for events/self-images related to self versus an acquaintance. Experiments 1 and 2 showed a strong, general tendency for the generation of positive future events/self-images, but most pronounced for self, relative to an acquaintance. Experiments 3 and 4 demonstrated that positive future events/self-images were dated closer to present, whereas negative ones were pushed further into the future, but only for self and not for an acquaintance. Our results support the idea that the positivity bias in future thinking serves a self-enhancement function and that this bias likely represents a similar underlying motivational mechanism across different domains of future thinking, whether episodic or semantic. The findings add to our understanding of the motivational functions served by different forms of future thoughts in relation to the self.

Log in om toegang te krijgen

Met onderstaand(e) abonnement(en) heeft u direct toegang:

BSL Psychologie Totaal

Met BSL Psychologie Totaal blijf je als professional steeds op de hoogte van de nieuwste ontwikkelingen binnen jouw vak. Met het online abonnement heb je toegang tot een groot aantal boeken, protocollen, vaktijdschriften en e-learnings op het gebied van psychologie en psychiatrie. Zo kun je op je gemak en wanneer het jou het beste uitkomt verdiepen in jouw vakgebied.

Literatuur
Over dit artikel

Andere artikelen Uitgave 7/2020

Psychological Research 7/2020 Naar de uitgave