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Imagining Is Believing

Title: Imagining Is Believing: Locus of Control Orientation Determines the Impact of Mere Imaginings on Social Judgment.
Name(s): Ward, Erin Sparks, author
Plant, Ashby, professor directing dissertation
Perrewé, Pamela L., university representative
McNulty, James, committee member
Kelley, Colleen M., committee member
Boot, Walter Richard, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (104 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In order to prepare for the future, at least some people might spend time imagining how a target person's future behavior could impede the achievement of their goals. These imaginings represent no truly new information about the target person, as they are self-generated. However, if people misattribute the increased cognitive accessibility of the target's negative behavior to a meaningful source of information, the imaginings could still have the power to impact impressions of the target. Across 3 studies, I tested the hypothesis that imagining a future scenario in which a target had the potential to behave badly would negatively impact participants' impressions of the target, an effect that would be moderated by the imaginer's locus of control orientation and that might grow stronger after enough time elapsed for source confusion to take place. Specifically, I tested the prediction that externally-oriented people would increase the negativity of their target judgments after such imaginings, but internally-oriented people would experience either no change or a positive change in their target judgments. In Study 1, as predicted, imagining a hypothetical future scenario had a negative impact on target judgments that was moderated by locus of control. In Study 2, as predicted, anticipating a real future interaction with a disagreeable confederate had a negative impact on confederate judgments that was moderated by locus of control, even after the real situation was resolved favorably. In both studies, effects persisted one week later in a small follow-up sample but did not grow stronger. Study 3 included an additional control condition to test the hypothesis that future imaginings would produce an impact above and beyond merely recruiting memories of somebody's real past bad behaviors. However, Study 3 failed to replicate the findings from Studies 1 and 2. Implications of these mixed results are discussed.
Identifier: FSU_2015fall_Ward_fsu_0071E_12926 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: November 9, 2015.
Keywords: imagination inflation, locus of control, social judgment
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Elizabeth A. Plant, Professor Directing Dissertation; Pamela L. Perrewe, University Representative; James K. McNulty, Committee Member; Colleen M. Kelley, Committee Member; Walter R. Boot, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Social psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Ward, E. S. (2015). Imagining Is Believing: Locus of Control Orientation Determines the Impact of Mere Imaginings on Social Judgment. Retrieved from