A Schema-Based Account of a Negativity Bias in Collective Future Thinking
thesisposted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by Sushmita Shrikanth
Robust evidence suggests that personal and collective future thinking are dissociable by valence, yet there lacks a theoretical basis for these findings. Presently, a false memory paradigm was used to test whether people possess a negatively-biased collective schema that renders negative news information more familiar compared to positive news information. Though Experiment 1 were non-significant, Experiments 2 and 3 found people displayed better memory for negative news headlines, while false alarm rates for negative news headlines emerged after a delay. Further, people tended to remember more positive life-script information, aligning with the previously found valence-based dissociation between personal and collective prospection. Findings are interpreted within a schema theory framework, and future directions are discussed.