Future-Event Schemas and Certainty About the Future: Automaticity in Depressives' Future-Event Predictions

Susan M. Andersen, Lisa A. Spielman, John A. Bargh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The proposition was tested that depressives make predictions about the future based on a pessimistic future-event schema. Participants varying in depression predicted whether positive and negative events would happen to them (or to an average person) in the future by pressing yes or no at a computer terminal as quickly as possible, either under a concurrent attentional load or under no such load. As hypothesized, depressives predicted more negative events and fewer positive events than did mild depressives or nondepressives and showed greater automaticity in their predictions. That is, the attentional load did not increase depressives' response latencies for either negative or positive events, even though it did so reliably for both mildly depressed and nondepressed individuals. Depressives may thus possess a highly developed future-event schema that operates efficiently in enabling future-event predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-723
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume63
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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