The motivating function of thinking about the future: expectations versus fantasies.

  title={The motivating function of thinking about the future: expectations versus fantasies.},
  author={Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  volume={83 5},
  • G. OettingenD. Mayer
  • Published 1 November 2002
  • Psychology
  • Journal of personality and social psychology
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… 

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