Gabriele Oettingen

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Fantasy realization theory states that when people contrast their fantasies about a desired future with reflections on present reality, a necessity to act is induced that leads to the activation and use of relevant expectations. Strong goal commitment arises in light of favorable expectations, and weak goal commitment arises in light of unfavorable(More)
In everyday life, one can link anticipated specific cues (e.g. visiting a restaurant) with desired actions (e.g., ordering a healthy meal). Alternatively, intentions such as "I intend to eat more healthily" present the option to act when one encounters the same cue. In the first case, a specific cue triggers a specific action; in the second, one must act in(More)
OBJECTIVE Despite major recent research advances, large gaps exist between accepted mental health knowledge and clinicians' real-world practices. Although hundreds of studies have successfully utilized basic behavioral science theories to understand, predict, and change patients' health behaviors, the extent to which these theories-most notably the theory(More)
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(More)
In two experiments a self-regulatory strategy combining mental contrasting with the formation of implementation intentions (MCII) was tested for its effectiveness in diminishing unhealthy snacking habits. Study 1 (N1⁄4 51) showed that participants in the MCII condition consumed fewer unhealthy snacks than participants in a control condition who thought(More)
Using the revised Control, Agency, and Means-ends Interview (T. D. Little, G. Oettingen, & P. B. Baltes, 1995), we compared American children's (Grades 2-6) action-control beliefs about school performance with those of German and Russian children (Los Angeles, n = 657; East Berlin, n = 313; West Berlin, n = 517; Moscow, n = 541). Although we found(More)
The present research examines posttraumatic resilience in extremely exposed children and adolescents based on interviews with 330 former Ugandan child soldiers (age = 11-17, female = 48.5%). Despite severe trauma exposure, 27.6% showed posttraumatic resilience as indicated by the absence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and clinically(More)
Past research has demonstrated that implementation intentions (i.e., if–then plans) facilitate goal striving by two processes: increasing the activation of the anticipated situational cue (the if–process) and automating the goal–directed response to that cue (the then–process; Gollwitzer, 1999; Webb & Sheeran, in press). Two studies investigated the(More)
Mentally contrasting a desired future with present reality is a self-regulation strategy that leads to goal commitment in line with a person's expectations of success. One possible mediator variable of these effects is level of energization. In Study 1, energization assessed by physiological measures was found to mediate the effect of mental contrasting on(More)