The role of emotional valence on the capacity to engage episodic foresight to guide future-directed behaviour

Ralph, Annaketurah (2015). The role of emotional valence on the capacity to engage episodic foresight to guide future-directed behaviour Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Ralph, Annaketurah
Thesis Title The role of emotional valence on the capacity to engage episodic foresight to guide future-directed behaviour
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Julie Henry
Total pages 128
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
Episodic foresight is a critically important human ability which refers to the capacity to anticipate future needs and to generate predictions of what action may be necessary so that future benefits may be secured and future problems avoided (Suddendorf & Corballis, 2007). Although a considerable amount of literature has focused on understanding the factors that influence our capacity to use episodic foresight, these studies have almost exclusively operationalised episodic foresight in terms of phenomenological characteristics. Thus, at present we understand surprisingly little about the factors that influence our ability to use episodic foresight to guide future-oriented behaviour. In the current study, a novel measure of the behavioural consequences of episodic foresight was modified to incorporate a manipulation of emotional valence. In an initial online pilot study, emotionally valenced stimuli were administered to 127 adults to select appropriate stimuli for this modified task. In the main study, this newly modified measure of episodic foresight was then administered to 67 younger adults, along with standardised measures of cognitive function theoretically linked to episodic foresight. The results showed that emotional valence had no significant effect on participants’ capacity to use episodic foresight to guide future-directed behaviour. These data therefore stand in contrast with the broader literature focused on the phenomenological aspects of episodic foresight, where valence has been shown to be influential. As such, the findings from this study contribute to the theoretical understanding of episodic foresight by suggesting that the influence of valence on episodic foresight may not generalise to when it is operationalised by its capacity to direct-future behaviour.
Keyword Valence
Episodic
Foresight
Behaviour

 
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Created: Thu, 17 Mar 2016, 18:54:50 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology