Anderson, C. A. & Godfrey, Sandra S. (1987).

Thoughts about actions: The effects of specificity and availability of imagined behavioral scripts on expectations about oneself and others.

Social Cognition, 5, 238-258.


Past research has shown that simply imagining oneself deciding to perform or refusing to perform a target behavior produces corresponding changes in expectations about oneself, whereas imagining someone else has no impact on expectations about oneself (Anderson, 1983b). The present experiment further examined this specificity effect and the proposed underlying mechanism. It was hypothesized that imagining oneself in a behavioral script would influence expectations about oneself, but not expectations about another person, and that imagining another person in a behavioral script would influence expectations about that person's behavior, but not expectations about one's own behavior. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that previously imagined scripts would be easier to imagine (i.e., more available), and that ease of imagination would be correlated with behavioral expectations. All hypotheses were supported. The role of imagined scripts in a variety of decision domains is discussed.

©1987 by the Guilford Press.

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