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The relation between the sense of coherence and future imagination: a mixed method approach

Terhart, Tobias (2016) The relation between the sense of coherence and future imagination: a mixed method approach.

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Abstract:Introduction. The artist Olivia Glebbeek arranged a pilot study to take a first step towards solving current problems of the Dutch penal- and care system. An idealistic future was imagined in the pilot, where the current problems of the system are solved. The sense of coherence (SOC) is stressed by many studies as important for viewing the world as comprehensible, manageable and meaningful. While the SOC is related to good protective factors, good mental health and a good quality of life, little is known about its working determinants. The narrative method ‘letters from the future’ was used to find a connection to the SOC. This knowledge could serve not only to explore new ideas and methods for using the SOC in a narrative futuring method, but could also help the people within the Dutch penal- and care system to break through the vicious circle in which they seem to be captured. Method. The received letters were analysed qualitatively based on five narrative processes of imaging the future (expressing emotions, imagining, evaluating the past, orienting on necessary steps, engaging in dialogue). Further, the connection between the SOC and the five narrative processes was analysed quantitatively, with five binary logistic regression analyses. Results. Three statistically significant connections were found, all pertaining to the narrative process of ‘evaluating the past’. The total score on the SOC, the subscales comprehensibility, and manageability were found to positively predict the narrative process of ‘evaluating the past’. All five narrative processes were found in the received letters. Among the narrative processes ‘imagining’ occurred most often and ‘expressing emotions’ least often. Two groups emerged, one group was imagining an idealistic future of the Dutch penal- and care system, the other an idealistic future for the writers themselves. Conclusion and discussion. The expected connection between the SOC and the future letters can be partially supported. Only the narrative process of ‘evaluating the past’ displayed a connection with the SOC. While the present study contains only positive and optimistic imagined futures - in comparison to a previous study the impression may arise that the writers’ present moment is experienced as rather negative. This is congruent with the pilot’s aim of developing a motivation to change the Dutch penal- and care system for the better. Finally, the pilot can be seen as a first step towards solving the problems of the Dutch penal- and care system.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:10 humanities in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70006
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