Episodic memory is a major area of research in psychology. Initially viewed as a distinct store of information derived from experienced episodes, episodic memory is understood today as a form of mental "time travel" into the personal past. Recent research has revealed striking similarities between episodic memory - past-oriented mental time travel - and future-oriented mental time travel (FMTT). Seeing the Future: Theoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel brings together leading contributors in both empirical and theoretical disciplines to present (...) the first interdisciplinary look at the human to imagine future scenarios. Chapters focus on the challenging conceptual and theoretical questions raised by FMTT, covering themes such as: varieties of future-oriented cognition; relationships between FMTT and episodic memory; subjective temporality in FMTT; the self in FMTT; and functional, evolutionary and comparative, developmental, and clinical perspectives on FMTT. With its focus on the conceptual issues at the heart of fast-developing research on FMTT, this edited volume will serve graduate students to senior scholars working on or interested in FMTT and related areas as a synthesis of current theoretical thinking and a source of questions for future FMTT research. (shrink)
The goal of the present study was to examine the hypothesis that the ability to construct vivid mental images of the future involves sampling the contents of memory. In two experiments, participants envisioned future scenarios occurring in contextual settings that were represented in memory in varying degrees of perceptual detail. In both experiments, detailed contextual settings were associated with more detailed images of the future and a stronger subjective experience. Our findings suggest that the contents of memory are routinely sampled (...) during the construction of personal future scenarios. (shrink)
This introductory chapter reviews research on future-oriented mental time travel to date (the past), provides an overview of the contents of the book (the present), and enumerates some possible research directions suggested by the latter (the future).
Tulving posited that the capacity to remember is one facet of a more general capacity—autonoetic consciousness. Autonoetic consciousness was proposed to underlie the ability for “mental time travel” both into the past and into the future to envision potential future episodes . The current study examines whether individual differences can predict autonoetic experience. Specifically, the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory was administered to 133 undergraduate students, who also rated phenomenological experiences accompanying autobiographical remembering and episodic future thinking. Scores on two of (...) the five subscales of the ZTPI predicted the degree to which people reported feelings of mentally traveling backward in time and the degree to which they reported re- or pre-experiencing the event, but not ten other rated properties less related to autonoetic consciousness. (shrink)
Barzykowski and Moulin's view on involuntary autobiographical memory focuses on automatic activation of representations and inhibitory control mechanisms. We discuss how and when a known neural mechanism – pattern completion – may result in involuntary autobiographical memories, the types of cues that may elicit this phenomenon and consider interactions with future-oriented cognition.