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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Indulging in positive fantasies about a desired future helps people feel accomplished and happy. At the same time, it hurts people with implementing the wished-for future. It leads to low energy, low effort, and little success. Indulging in positive future fantasies also predicts high depressive affect over time, partially mediated by low effort and little success. However, when juxtaposing the positive future fantasies with a clear sense of reality (mental contrasting), people understand what they want and can achieve, and take the necessary steps to fulfill their wishes. People are particularly effective in fulfilling their wishes when they combine mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII). The chapter concludes by suggesting that MCII may also be used to snap out of excessively positive affective states.

Keywords: positive future thinking, fantasy, mental contrasting, implementation intentions, self-regulation, behavior change, MCII, WOOP

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