Or is it just fantasies (winning the lottery, etc.) that don’t work?
But ultimately, Happes and Oettingen believe that positive fantasies are likely to scupper your changes of obtaining your goals. “Instead of promoting achievement, positive fantasies will sap job-seekers of the energy to pound the pavement, and drain the lovelorn of the energy to approach the one they like,” they write. “Fantasies that are less positive – that question whether an ideal future can be achieved, and that depict obstacles, problems and setbacks – should be more beneficial for mustering the energy needed to obtain success.”
What do you think of the experiment design compared to an actual visualization?
And this zinger at the end:
This study isn’t the first to explode the myth of a traditional self-help tool. A 2009 paper found that repeating positive mantras about themselves led people low in self-esteem to feel worse.