University of Twente Student Theses


Levendigheid van toekomstverbeelding : analyse van de samenhang tussen de episodische kwaliteit en de verwoorde positieve emoties in toekomstbrieven

Feldmann, L.R. (2015) Levendigheid van toekomstverbeelding : analyse van de samenhang tussen de episodische kwaliteit en de verwoorde positieve emoties in toekomstbrieven.

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Abstract:There has been much neurological and cognitive research on memory in the recent years. This revealed that memories rely on the same cognitive and neurological mechanisms as the imagination of future happenings. For memories, a distinction between episodic and semantic memories has already been made. This study attempted to make the same distinction for imagination of the future. Earlier research showed that in episodic imagination of the future more positive emotions were recalled than in episodic remembering. So this correlation has been further analyzed in the present study. Future imagination was measured on the basis of future letters. For the present study, 100 letters written by a general population have been analyzed. These were tested for their episodic content using Autobiographical Interview Scoring Manual by Levine et al. (2002). However, this method was originally designed for the analysis of memories. For the present study this instrument had to be modified to analyze future letters. To measure the number of positive and negative emotion words in the future letters the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count has been used. The program automatically counts the positive and negative emotion words in the letters on the basis of a dictionary of emotion words. The results showed that more positive than negative emotion words occurred in the future letters. However, no association has been found between the episodic content of the future letters and the number of positive emotion words which had been expressed therein. The research hypothesis was not confirmed but this study contributes to a better understanding of the areas of future imagination and the therefore available methods. Further, a modified scoring procedure has been developed in order to measure the episodic content of future imaginations. This may later be used for further research on this topic or further customized. Further research could look in more detail at the role of emotions in future imagination to make a valuable contribution to the development of new therapies in the future. The results could help to lead therapies into a new direction and perhaps lead to a more future oriented way of working in the mental health sector.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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