Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usFaculty of Behavioural and Social SciencesPsychology

Heymans Colloquium - dr. J. Peetz, 18 Dec 2012, 15.30 hrs

Wanneer:di 18-12-2012 15:30 - 16:45
Waar:M.0074 (Noordamzaal), Munting Building.

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

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

Tuesday, 18 December 2012, 15.30–16.45 hrs.

M.0074 (Noordamzaal), Munting Building.

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