Das phantasierte Selbst und seine bedeutung für die entwicklung über die lebensspanne

Translated title of the contribution: The fantasized self and life-span development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two ways of thinking about the future are distinguished: expectancy judgments and spontaneous fantasies (Oettingen, 1997). While expectancy judgments reflect a person's personal history, spontaneous fantasies are free from past experience. In the first part of the article, an experiment on the fantasized self and life planning is presented which investigates how expectations and fantasies concur in affecting motivation and action. The mental contrasting of the positively fantasized future self with negative aspects of the present reality makes the expected self guide a person's action. Referring to a meta-model of successful development over the life span, the model of selective optimization with compensation (P. Baltes & M. Baltes, 1990), the article then discusses the developmental implications of the mental contrasting, whereby the three processes of selection, optimization, and compensation are analysed in detail. Finally, it is asked, how contextual (e.g., biological, socio-cultural, and non-normative) factors influence the content of self-related fantasies and expectations and thereby determine the three processes of successful aging.

Translated title of the contributionThe fantasized self and life-span development
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)76-91
Number of pages16
JournalZeitschrift fur Sozialpsychologie
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Action
  • Expectation
  • Fantasy
  • Life-span development
  • Optimism, self
  • Thinking about the future

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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