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My fair future self: The role of temporal distance and self-enhancement in prediction

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Information people rely on when making self-predictions may be influenced by temporal distance and the self-enhancement motive. We proposed, drawing from Construal Level Theory, that temporally distant (vs. near) predictions reflect the “gist” self-attributes, rather than other attributes (“noise”). Based on the self-enhancement literature, positive (vs. negative) attributes will be perceived as the “gist.rdquo; In three studies, we tested the hypothesis that positive attributes are more prominent in distant predictions. Distant (compared to near) predictions reflect the “gist” attributes, are more positive and confident (Study 1). Such predictions rely on positive (rather than negative) attributes (Study 2). Distant predictions reflect a greater better-than-average effect, better ratings on positive (and not-as-bad on negative) attributes in comparison to peers (Study 3). These tendencies hold true for individuals with varying levels of self-esteem (Studies 1, 3). The studies suggest that temporal distance and motivation to enhance the favorability of self-concept both influence prediction.

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Stephan, Elena, Sedikides, C, Heller, D and Shidlovski, D (2015) My fair future self: The role of temporal distance and self-enhancement in prediction Social Cognition, 33, (2), pp. 149-168. (doi:10.1521/soco.2015.33.2.149).

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Published date: 2015


Local EPrints ID: 376426
ISSN: 0278-016X
PURE UUID: 53985b7d-ef75-4325-9028-911f5a67512b

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Date deposited: 28 Apr 2015 12:20
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:09

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Author: Elena Stephan
Author: C Sedikides
Author: D Heller
Author: D Shidlovski

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