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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-85628
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2017/8562/


Mental Contrasting of Counterfactual Fantasies : Letting go of the Past and Engaging in the Present

Die Mentale Kontrastierung von Kontrafaktischen Fantasien : Loslösung von der Vergangenheit und Engagement im Hier und Jetzt

Krott, Nora Rebekka

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 Dokument 1.pdf (1.409 KB) 


SWD-Schlagwörter: Kontrafaktisches Denken , Fantasien , Selbstregulation
Freie Schlagwörter (Deutsch): verpasste Chancen , mentale Kontrastierung
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): counterfactual thinking , fantasies , lost opportunities , mental contrasting , self-regulation
Basisklassifikation: 77.05 , 77.60 , 77.46 , 77.45
Institut: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Oettingen, Gabriele (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 14.06.2017
Erstellungsjahr: 2017
Publikationsdatum: 22.06.2017
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Positive counterfactuals about an alternative past are “if only” reconstructions of the factual past. When subsequent opportunities to restore the counterfactual past will arise, positive counterfactuals can be functional in preparing people to act. When subsequent opportunities to restore the counterfactual past are absent, however, they can be dysfunctional by leading to distress and difficulties in coping with everyday life. In those cases, letting go of the counterfactual past should shelter people from feelings of distress and help them to actively engage in their present life. In the present research, we used the self-regulation strategy of mental contrasting to help people let go of their counterfactual past and actively engage in their present life. In six experimental studies (Study-set 1), mental contrasting of positive fantasies about a counterfactual past led people to let go of their counterfactual past (Studies 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4), and it attenuated negative counterfactual emotions (Studies 1.5 and 1.6). Building on these findings, we investigated cognitive and motivational variables affected by mental contrasting of positive fantasies about a counterfactual past. In an experimental study (Study 2), mental contrasting (vs. relevant control conditions) led people to form a positive implicit attitude towards their current reality. Further, in two experimental studies (Study-set 3), mental contrasting (vs. relevant control conditions) led people to feel energized regarding their present life. Finally, in three experimental studies (Study-set 4), mental contrasting (vs. relevant control conditions) led people to actively engage in their present life, specifically, to exert effort and successfully perform in the interpersonal domain (Study 4.1), the professional domain (Study 4.2), and the academic domain (Study 4.3). The results suggest that mental contrasting can help people let go of their counterfactual past and actively engage and succeed in their present life.

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