Looking to the Past to Develop the Future: Autobiographical Memory, Future Episodic Thought, and Self Concepts in Easterners and Westerners

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Abstract
The link between dialectical thinking, mental wellbeing, future episodic thought, and the self-concept was assessed between Caucasian (N = 80) and Asian (N = 57) cultural groups. In the first task, participants were asked to recall six autobiographical memories, three positive and three negative, in three different domains: family, school, and relationships with others. It was found that the emotional valence of the future episodic thought was dependent on both the valence of the memory as well as the domain, contrary to past research that illustrated that future episodic thought is globally more positive than autobiographical memories. Group differences emerged in the positivity of participants' self-concepts from past to present, while both Caucasians and Asians exhibited more positive statements in the future than the past or present. Dialectical thinking was also negatively correlated with more positive statements in the present self than the past self . Lastly, participants exhibited similar patterns in their graphical responses to patterns of change from past, to present, to future.
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Item removed from eCommons on 2012-05-17 at the request of the Department of Human Development, College of Human Ecology.
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2011-05
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episodic future thought; prospective thought; self-concept; dialectical thinking
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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