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Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 266–274 | Cite as

Using Mental Imagery to Manipulate the Future Time Perspective of Young Adults: Effects on Attentional Bias in Relation to Depressive Tendencies

  • Terumi TanakaEmail author
Article
  • 74 Downloads

Abstract

Socioemotional selectivity theory postulates that a person with an expansive future time perspective adopts positive and negative information equally to prepare for future events, whereas a person with a limited future time perspective favors selecting positive over negative information, which suggests an information processing bias. Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine both whether future mental imagery can affect future time perspectives and whether attentional biases can be observed under manipulated future time perspective conditions. To control for depressive tendencies, which was assumed to affect the examination of attentional bias, 24 college students with high depressive tendencies [6 men, 18 women; mean age 18.46 years, standard deviation (SD) = 0.66] and 22 with low depressive tendencies (7 men, 15 women; mean age = 18.73 years, SD = 1.12) were recruited as participants and instructed to generate mental imagery about the long-term (short-term) future in order to achieve a limited (expansive) future time perspective condition. Attentional bias was then examined using an exogenous cueing task with long cue presentations. The effectiveness of the manipulation method used in this study was confirmed, and the results of the effects on attentional biases were analyzed. A significant difference in the difficulty of attentional disengagement from negative stimuli was observed among the participants with high depressive tendencies under the expansive future time perspective condition.

Keywords

Mental imagery Future time perspective Attentional bias Depressive tendency Undergraduate students 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the author’s study support center and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15K04150.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyRissho UniversityTokyoJapan

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