Realism as a cognitive indicator of self-actualization in temporality

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Abstract

A cognitive style of conceiving one's future, based on Lewin's conception of “realism,” was related to discrepancies in peoples' present-future conceived self-actualizations. Twenty subjects were asked to construct their “future autobiography” as part of their projected life course ranging from the present to the age of 40. They also located themselves on a 10-point “life ladder” as to their present as well as future projected sense of self-acutalization. Five scorable categories characterizing a realistic mode of thinking were derived through content analysis from the future autobiographies. Results also significantly indicated that the higher one's cognitive style in terms of realism, the lower is his own perceived sense of discrepancy in self-actualization, and vice versa. Discussion emphasizes the importance of integrative efforts and dwells on the significance of the established cognitive mode and its relevance to time perspective, well-being, and psychotherapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1982

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