Individual Differences in Prospection Skills: Links with Mentalizing Ability

Rachel Aliza Mayers, Pace University


This study sought to determine what individual differences affect ability to prospect, particularly after experiencing an emotionally charged event (e.g. affective prospection). The researchers believed this to be an important skill as it allows one to prepare for the future and accurately plan their lives; thus understanding it better may allow one to increase their accuracy. The researchers hypothesized that those with increased mentalizing skills will be better at affective prospection, as supported by previous research. In addition the researchers hypothesized that actors, who may inherently (or be trained to) mentalize more often, will also be better at affective prospection. In addition, the researchers hypothesized that those with higher levels of grit and mindfulness would demonstrate more accurate affective prospection abilities. The study also originally sought to determine how individuals are able to evaluate their prospection abilities retroactively, by use of a post experiment survey; however this was not deemed possible with current data. Prospection skills were evaluated by use of individual differences measures, and correlated with individual differences in ability to mentalize, grit, and group differences between actors versus non-actors. Group differences in prospection, as well as independent variables that might predict prospection abilities were analyzed. Results of the experiment indicated that having training as an actor did not predict differences in affective prospection. In addition there were no significant differences seen in performance based on mentalizing ability, grit, and/ or mindfulness.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Mayers, Rachel Aliza, "Individual Differences in Prospection Skills: Links with Mentalizing Ability" (2016). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10295872.



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