The motivating function of thinking about the future: Expectations versus fantasies

Gabriele Oettingen, Doris Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two forms of thinking about the future are distinguished: expectations versus fantasies. Positive expectations (judging a desired future as likely) predicted high effort and successful performance, but the reverse was true for positive fantasies (experiencing one's thoughts and mental images about a desired future positively). Participants were graduates looking for a job (Study 1), students with a crush on a peer of the opposite sex (Study 2), undergraduates anticipating an exam (Study 3), and patients undergoing hip-replacement surgery (Study 4). Effort and performance were measured weeks or months (up to 2 years) after expectations and fantasies had been assessed. Implications for the self-regulation of effort and performance are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1212
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Fingerprint

future expectation
Fantasy
performance
self-regulation
surgery
Hip
graduate
Students
Thinking
student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

The motivating function of thinking about the future : Expectations versus fantasies. / Oettingen, Gabriele; Mayer, Doris.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 83, No. 5, 11.2002, p. 1198-1212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d1f1ae6abc61477ca65d36f7259ba04b,
title = "The motivating function of thinking about the future: Expectations versus fantasies",
abstract = "Two forms of thinking about the future are distinguished: expectations versus fantasies. Positive expectations (judging a desired future as likely) predicted high effort and successful performance, but the reverse was true for positive fantasies (experiencing one's thoughts and mental images about a desired future positively). Participants were graduates looking for a job (Study 1), students with a crush on a peer of the opposite sex (Study 2), undergraduates anticipating an exam (Study 3), and patients undergoing hip-replacement surgery (Study 4). Effort and performance were measured weeks or months (up to 2 years) after expectations and fantasies had been assessed. Implications for the self-regulation of effort and performance are discussed.",
author = "Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer",
year = "2002",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1037//0022-3514.83.5.1198",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "83",
pages = "1198--1212",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The motivating function of thinking about the future

T2 - Expectations versus fantasies

AU - Oettingen, Gabriele

AU - Mayer, Doris

PY - 2002/11

Y1 - 2002/11

N2 - Two forms of thinking about the future are distinguished: expectations versus fantasies. Positive expectations (judging a desired future as likely) predicted high effort and successful performance, but the reverse was true for positive fantasies (experiencing one's thoughts and mental images about a desired future positively). Participants were graduates looking for a job (Study 1), students with a crush on a peer of the opposite sex (Study 2), undergraduates anticipating an exam (Study 3), and patients undergoing hip-replacement surgery (Study 4). Effort and performance were measured weeks or months (up to 2 years) after expectations and fantasies had been assessed. Implications for the self-regulation of effort and performance are discussed.

AB - Two forms of thinking about the future are distinguished: expectations versus fantasies. Positive expectations (judging a desired future as likely) predicted high effort and successful performance, but the reverse was true for positive fantasies (experiencing one's thoughts and mental images about a desired future positively). Participants were graduates looking for a job (Study 1), students with a crush on a peer of the opposite sex (Study 2), undergraduates anticipating an exam (Study 3), and patients undergoing hip-replacement surgery (Study 4). Effort and performance were measured weeks or months (up to 2 years) after expectations and fantasies had been assessed. Implications for the self-regulation of effort and performance are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0036835169&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0036835169&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037//0022-3514.83.5.1198

DO - 10.1037//0022-3514.83.5.1198

M3 - Article

VL - 83

SP - 1198

EP - 1212

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 5

ER -