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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-83195
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2017/8319/


Mental Contrasting of a Negative Future and the Regulation of Anxiety

Mentale Kontrastierung einer negativen Zukunft und die Regulation von Angst

Brodersen, Gunnar

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 Dokument 1.pdf (2.640 KB) 


Basisklassifikation: 77.46 , 77.45
Institut: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Oettingen, Gabriele (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 21.12.2016
Erstellungsjahr: 2016
Publikationsdatum: 31.01.2017
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Mental contrasting of a desired future with the impeding reality has proven to be an effective self-regulatory strategy to foster selective goal pursuit (Oettingen, 2012). However, not a lot of research exists in which a negative future is contrasted with a positive reality. We conducted 3 studies to investigate the effects of mental contrasting of a negative future with a positive reality on state anxiety. In the first 2 studies, we found that participants who mentally contrasted a negative future regarding a bacterial epidemic (Study 1) and regarding an idiosyncratic negative future event (Study 2) showed less state anxiety with regard to that negative future than participants who imagined the negative future only or who reverse contrasted; participants who mentally elaborated on the positive reality only exhibited a pattern of results similar to participants who mentally contrasted. In Study 3, we demonstrated that mental contrasting of a negative future with a positive reality leads to expectancy-dependent calmness in an anxiety evoking test situation. Taken together, our findings suggest that mental contrasting of a negative future with a positive reality helps people reduce anxiety in everyday life situations.

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