Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Brendan Gaesser, Ph.D.
Laurie Feldman, Ph.D.
Life is filled with experiences that contribute to who we are, who we will become, and the social connections we make. We are constantly reflecting on past experiences, be it alone or with others, as well as thinking about what is to come and where we see ourselves in the future. Social and cognitive psychology research has focused on the processes behind autobiographical memory and episodic simulation. The link between collective memory and episodic simulation is the focus of the present study. The specific aim is to explore the potential link between reflecting on past experiences and imagining the future in building novel social relationships. Implementing methods from both memory and episodic simulation research, participants imagined plausible future events either collectively, with another participant, or individually, to examine the effect of collective imagination on social affiliation. We predict that when participants collectively imagine future events, they will feel a greater association to the other, unfamiliar, participant. The results of this study demonstrate a significant increase in social affiliation when imagining a future event with another person. More research is required to gain further insight into the full influence of collective imagination, but the present study contributes to the expansion of current knowledge on social imagination and memory.
Lynch, Haley, "Collective Imagination" (2020). Psychology. 41.