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Manipulating optimism: Can imagining a best possible self be used to increase positive future expectancies?
Dept Clin Psychol Sci, Maastricht Univ, Maastricht, Netherlands.
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2718-7402
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9429-9012
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5359-0452
2010 (English)In: Journal of Positive Psychology, ISSN 1743-9760, E-ISSN 1743-9779, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 204-211Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study tested whether a brief manipulation consisting of positive future thinking can temporarily increase optimism. Participants in the positive future thinking condition (n = 44) wrote about their best possible self (BPS) for 15 min, followed by 5 min of mental imagery. Participants in the control condition (n = 38) wrote about and imagined a typical day in their life. Positive and negative future expectancies and positive and negative affect were measured before and after each manipulation. Compared to the control manipulation, the positive future thinking manipulation led to significantly larger increase in positive affect and positive future expectancies. The increase in positive expectancies was not dependent on the mood effect. The results indicate that imagining a positive future can indeed increase expectancies for a positive future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2010. Vol. 5, no 3, p. 204-211
Keywords [en]
Optimism, manipulation, best possible self, positive and negative affect, future expectancies
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-13726DOI: 10.1080/17439761003790963ISI: 000291743800004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77954159364OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-13726DiVA, id: diva2:386758
Available from: 2011-01-13 Created: 2011-01-13 Last updated: 2018-04-23Bibliographically approved

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Flink, Ida K.Boersma, KatjaLinton, Steven J.

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