Future Time Perspective, Anxiety And The Positivity Effect

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Future Time Perspective, Anxiety and the Positivity Effect Introduction There is a general assumption that as we age we will experience a decreased quality of life. We feel that as our sight, hearing and joints begin to fail us and we realise that we are approaching the end of our lives we assume that we will become “grumpy old” men and women. However research consistently, and surprisingly, shows that older adults in fact often report a greater satisfaction with life as they age. Not only that, they are actually better at emotional regulation than younger adults(Carstensen, Pasupathi, Mayr, & Nesselroade, 2000). Researchers have described this as Socioemotional Selectivity theory(Carstensen, Isaacowitz, & Charles, 1999). One of the…show more content…
Effective emotional regulation is generally seen as the ability to minimise negative emotions and emphasise positive emotions where appropriate. As people age they show more ability to regulate their emotions and to maximise those goals that are focused in the present and have more emotional meaning ( Carstensen, Fung, & Charles, 2003). That this effect is possibly due to perceived amount of time left and not just age is borne out by research that shows the emphasis on having positive, meaningful emotional experiences in the present is also observed in younger adults who have a terminal illness. Whereas ordinarily, younger adults would be expected to seek future orientated experiences and knowledge, those with limited time remaining instead seek present optimisation and show the Positivity effect in attentional bias, (Carstensen & Fredrickson, 1998). Another area where attentional bias has been extensively researched is the effect Trait Anxiety has on attention to negative and positive images, dependent on anxiety. The role of emotional regulation processes that may actually maintain the anxiety, where there is a hyper vigilance towards threatening stimuli (Cisler & Koster, 2010; Koster, Crombez, Verschuere, & De Houwer, 2006; Mathews & MacLeod, 2002). This study examined the relationship between Future Time Perspectives and attentional biases towards positive stimuli. This study also looked at whether anxiety proneness has a
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