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Socioemotional selectivity theory proposes that decreased future time perspective would lead to an emphasis on goals of well-being, with attentional preference for positive information. We developed a procedure to manipulate future time perspective, based on mental imagery, to experimentally investigate its effects on attention and affect. In experiment 1, we tested a new measure of future time perspective, the scrambled sentence test. In experiment 2, 41 undergraduates were randomly assigned to the imagery procedure with either short-term or long-term future scenarios. Attentional bias was measured by an exogenous cueing task. Between-group differences were found on the scrambled sentence test, indicating that the manipulation induced a different future time perspective in the long-term future imagery group compared to the short-term future imagery group. Although there were no differences in attentional bias at group level, a more expansive future time perspective after the manipulation correlated with more avoidance of negative information. These results indicate that future time perspective is related to information processing, which may point to an affect regulation strategy.
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- The Effect of Future Time Perspective Manipulation on Affect and Attentional Bias
Rudi De Raedt
- Springer US