Across four studies the researchers examined how people thought about each of these challenges. They measured how much they fantasised about a positive outcome and how much they expected a positive outcome.This seems to be yet another warning about the dangers of excessive far thinking.
Take those looking for a job. Those who spent more time dreaming about getting a job, performed worse. Two years after leaving college the dreamers:
- had applied for fewer job,
- unsurprisingly had been offered fewer jobs,
- and, if they were in work, had lower salaries.
On the other hand those who entertained more negative future fantasies were more likely to achieve their goals. Similar results were seen for the other goals.
HT: Eliezer Yudkowsky
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2002. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.528