Mental contrasting changes the meaning of reality

Kappes, A., Wendt, M., Reinelt, T. & Oettingen, G. (2013). Mental contrasting changes the meaning of reality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(5), pp. 797-810. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2013.03.010

[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (445kB) | Preview

Abstract

Mental contrasting of a desired future with the present reality strengthens goal pursuit when expectations of success are high, and weakens goal pursuit when expectations of success are low. We hypothesized that mental contrasting effects on selective goal pursuit are mediated by a change in the meaning of the present reality as an obstacle towards reaching the desired future. Using explicit evaluation of reality (Study 1), implicit categorization of reality as obstacle (Study 2), and detection of obstacle (Study 3) as indicators, we found that mental contrasting (versus relevant control groups) fostered the meaning of reality as obstacle when expectations of success were high, but weakened it when expectations of success were low. Importantly, the meaning of reality as obstacle mediated mental contrasting effects on goal pursuit (Studies 1, 2). The findings suggest that mental contrasting produces selective goal pursuit by changing the meaning of a person's reality.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental contrasting; Expectations;Obstacles; Goal pursuit; Self-regulation; Meaning
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18705

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics