'The best is yet to come': Examining the affective and motivational implications of reflective and evaluative thinking about a brighter future life.

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Date: Mar. 2022
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 300 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Reflection; Evaluation; Affect; Motivation Highlights * We examined the effects of reflective versus evaluative modes of thinking about a more satisfying future life. * Experimental manipulations of reflective versus evaluative thinking were largely unsuccessful (Study 1, Study 2). * Stronger reflective thinking was linked with more positive affective reactions and stronger motivation (Study 2, Study 3). * Greater anticipated current-future improvement was linked with less positive affect yet stronger motivation. Abstract Most individuals envision that their lives will become more satisfying in the future. Drawing on the Reflection and Evaluation Model (REM; ), in three pre-registered studies we evaluated the affective and motivational implications of envisioning a more satisfying future life using a reflective versus evaluative mode of thinking. In Study 1 (N = 456; M age = 30.54; 40.8% female) and Study 2 (N = 440; M age = 30.29; 36.1% female), experimental manipulations of mode of thinking (reflective, evaluative, control) did not significantly impact affect or motivation. However, in Study 2 and Study 3 (N = 442; M age = 30.61; 55.4% female), individual differences in mode of thinking were systematically related to individuals' affective reactions and motivation. That is, more reflective (vs. evaluative) thinking was associated with more positive and less negative affect, stronger commitment to and confidence in achieving one's goals for the future, and greater perceived success. Thus, the present work provides valuable new insights about reflective versus evaluative thinking with respect to the widespread belief that 'the best is yet to come'. Author Affiliation: Brock University, Canada * Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1, Canada. Article History: Received 3 February 2021; Revised 25 October 2021; Accepted 26 October 2021 (miscellaneous) Editor: Ernestine Gordijn Byline: Lauren Kremble, Michael A. Busseri [mbusseri@brocku.ca] (*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A690060600