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Heymans Colloquium - dr. J. Peetz : The post-Christmas world: How thinking of holidays and other temporal landmarks may increase motivation to pursue future goals

Wanneer:di 18-12-2012 15:30 - 16:45

LECTURER
Dr. Johanna Peetz
(Carleton University Ottawa, Canada).

TITLE
The post-Christmas world: How thinking of holidays and other temporal landmarks may increase motivation to pursue future goals.

DATE & TIME
Tuesday, 18 December 2012, 15.30–16.45 hrs.

LOCATION
M.0074 (Noordamzaal), Munting Building.

ABSTRACT
Much as physical landmarks help structure our representation of space, temporal landmarks (Holidays, Birthdays, etc) may structure our perception of time:
people may organize or categorize their lives into "chunks" separated by these markers. Categories may vary depending on what landmarks are salient at
a given time; for example, thinking of Christmas Day might separate one's temporal landscape into the categories "before Christmas" and "after Christmas".
We suggest these landmark-induced categories have implications for identity and motivation. Across several studies we show that temporally extended
selves were perceived as less connected to, and more dissimilar from the current self when an intervening landmark event was made salient.
In addition, landmark-induced mental contrasting of present state and future desired state increased goal-pursuit motivation (in an effort to bridge the gap
between inferior present and better future states). Finally, we present initial evidence that people spontaneously highlight temporal landmarks as a way to
create psychological barriers separating undesirable future selves from the present self.


For more information you may contact dr K. (Kai) Epstude, email address k.epstude@rug.nl