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Wishful information preference: positive fantasies mimic the effects of intentions

Kappes, Heather Barry ORCID: 0000-0002-6335-3888 and Oettingen, Gabriele (2012) Wishful information preference: positive fantasies mimic the effects of intentions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38 (7). pp. 870-881. ISSN 0146-1672

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0146167212446163


When pursuing set goals or intentions, people prefer to acquire information about the pros rather than the cons of their goal pursuit. Little is known about information preferences at earlier stages, when people are not yet serious about pursuing a given future. In the present three studies, positive fantasies that depicted an idealized desired future—compared with fantasies that questioned whether the future would be so ideal—created a preference for pros over cons, just like set goals or intentions have been shown to do. Positive fantasies created a stronger preference for pros versus cons when people were not serious about pursuing an imagined future or had just foregone an opportunity to do so. Results suggest that before people are engaged in serious pursuits, positive fantasies spur the selective acquisition of pro information, which may lead to poor decisions even if the acquired information is carefully deliberated on later.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Management
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2012 10:13
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:28

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