Fantasy Realization and the Bridging of Time

Gabriele Oettingen, Jennifer Thorpe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reports ideas about fantasy realization. Based on William James's distinction between beliefs and images, it differentiates two forms of thinking about the future: expectancy judgments and fantasies. It also shows that the distinction between expectancy judgments and fantasies is important. In addition, it argues that fantasies about the future can be used as a self-regulatory strategy of goal setting when contrasted with thoughts about impeding reality. After such mental contrasting of future and present reality, expectancy judgments and thus people's performance history become relevant for thought, feeling, and action. The self-regulatory strategies of indulging in the future or dwelling on the present, in contrast, are found to be moderators of the expectancy-behavior link. Finally, it discusses these findings in the context of cultural determinants of the three self-regulatory strategies of goal setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJudgments Over Time
Subtitle of host publicationThe Interplay of Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199848218
ISBN (Print)0195177665, 9780195177664
StatePublished - 2006


  • Action
  • Beliefs
  • Expectancy judgments
  • Fantasy realization
  • Feeling
  • Future
  • Goal setting
  • Images
  • Thoughts
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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