Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Brendan Bo O’Connor
Imagined events and scenarios can influence our perceptions, cognitions, and emotions. It has been found that our imaginations are abundant with social scenarios and can affect how we think of our relationships with others, but can imagining an event together further impact our connection with others? And does the vividness of that imagined event correspond to social connection? In this study, we recruited 126 participants and separated them into pairs of which were then randomly assigned into one of three conditions. Collaborative imagination was found to increase social connection more so than individually imagining a shared social scenario. The vividness of imagined encounters was significantly positively correlated with social connection. Thus, these results suggest that imagining an event together can foster feelings of social closeness and connection, and that the vividness of the imagined event may play a role in these effects, supporting the idea that collaborative imagination may play a role in the development of new relationships. Further research is suggested looking at group impact on collaborative imagination’s role in social connection as well as how episodic-specificity inductions may influence social connection during collaborative imagination.
Smith, Sarah, "The Power of Our Imaginations Combined: Collaborative Imagination’s Role in Facilitating Social Connection" (2023). Psychology. 47.