Over the past thirty years, and particularly within the last ten years, researchers in the areas of social psychology, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience have been examining fascinating questions regarding the nature of imagination and mental simulation – the imagination and generation of alternative realities. Some of these researchers have focused on the specific processes that occur in the brain when an individual is mentally simulating an action or forming a mental image, whereas others have focused on the consequences of mental simulation processes for affect, cognition, motivation, and behavior.
This Handbook provides a novel and stimulating integration of work on imagination and mental simulation from a variety of perspectives. It is the first broad-based volume to integrate specific sub-areas such as mental imagery, imagination, thought flow, narrative transportation, fantasizing, and counterfactual thinking, which have, until now, been treated by researchers as disparate and orthogonal lines of inquiry. As such, the volume enlightens psychologists to the notion that a wide-range of mental simulation phenomena may actually share a commonality of underlying processes.
"This handbook is a marvelous resource of information that provides vital insights into human consciousness and mental life. The chapters provide a rich assortment of perspectives and fascinating lines of research. Written by influential, highly respected experts, the contributions to this volume together furnish a state-of-the-art overview of what the conscious human mind does when it moves away from the mundane here-and-now." - Roy F. Baumeister, Eppes Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology, Florida State University, USA, and author of The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life
"Mental simulation has evolved into a core theoretical idea spanning nearly all of psychology. Informing basic analyses of representation, imagery, metacognition, goals, fantasy, and behavior, the study of mental simulation is newly invigorated by insights from cognitive neuroscience. In this timely collection of essays, these diverse theoretical strands come together to shed new light on the mysteries of the human imagination." - Neal Roese, Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois, USA, and author of If Only
Part 1. The Mental Simulation of Action and Behavior. J. Decety, J. Stevens, Action Representation and its Role in Social Interactions. S. Beilock, I. Lyons, Expertise and the Mental Simulation of Action. S. Kosslyn, S. Moulton, Mental Imagery and Implicit Memory. E. Amit, D. Algom, Y. Trope, N. Liberman, Thou Shalt not Make Unto Thee any Graven Image: The Distance-Dependence of Representation. T. Faude, D. Wuerz, P. Gollwitzer, Implemental Intentions: The Mental Representation and Cognitive Procedures of IF-THEN Planning. Part 2. Mental Simulation and Memory. D. Bernstein, R. Godfrey, E. Loftus, False Memories: The Role of Plausibility and Autobiographical Belief. S. Lynn, S. Barnes, A. Matthews, Hypnosis and Memory: From Bernheim to the Present. K. Szpunar, K. McDermott, Episodic Future Thought: Remembering the Past to Imagine the Future. L. van Boven, J. Kane, A.P. McGraw, Temporally Asymmetric Constraints on Mental Simulation: Retrospection is more Constrained than Prospection. Part 3. Counterfactual Thinking: Simulating the Past. R. Byrne, V. Girotto, Cognitive Processes in Counterfactual Thinking. E. Wong, A. Galinsky, L. Kray, The Counterfactual Thinking Mind-Set: A Decade of Research. K. Markman, F. Karadogan, M. Lindberg, E. Zell, Counterfactual Thinking: Function and Dysfunction. Part 4. Alternatives and Alternate Selves. L. Sanna, N. Schwarz, L. Kennedy, It’s Hard to Imagine: Mental Simulation, Metacognitive Experiences, and the Success of Debiasing. M. Taylor, A.B. Shawber, A.M. Mannering, Children’s Imaginary Companions: What is it like to have an Imaginary Friend? E. Klinger, Daydreaming and Fantasizing: Thought Flow and Motivation. M. Green, J. Donahue, Simulated Worlds: Transportation into Narratives. Part 5. Perspective-Taking: Simulating Other Minds. R. Saxe, The Happiness of the Fish: Evidence for a Common Theory of One’s Own and Others’ Actions. C.D. Batson, Two Forms of Perspective Taking: Imagining How Another Feels and Imagining How You Would Feel. M. Myers, S. Hodges, Making it up and Making do: Simulation, Imagination, and Empathic Accuracy. N. Epley, E. Caruso, Perspective Taking: Misstepping into Others’ Shoes. Part 6. Simulating and Preparing For the Future. B. Klein, L. Zajac, Imagining a Rosy Future: The Psychology of Optimism. E. Dunn, N. Forrin, C. Ashton-James, On the Excessive Rationality of the Emotional Imagination: A Two Systems Account of Affective Forecasts and Experiences. E. Perunovic, A. Wilson, Subjective Proximity of Future Selves: Implications for Current Identity, Future Appraisal, and Goal Pursuit Motivation. L. Libby, R. Eibach, Seeing the Links Between the Personal Past, Present, and Future: How Imagery Perspective in Mental Simulation Functions in Defining the Temporally Extended Self. D. Oyserman, L. James, Possible Selves: From Content to Process. G. Oettingen, A. Kappes, Mental Contrasting of the Future and Reality to Master Negative Feedback. M. Zeelenberg, R. Pieters, On the Consequences of Mentally Simulating Future Forgone Outcomes: A Regret Regulation Perspective. P. Carroll, J. Shepperd, Preparedness, Mental Simulations, and Future Outlooks.