About OpenKnowledge@NAU | For NAU Authors

Pragmatic Prospection and Environmental Modifications: An Experience Sampling Study

Pineda, Sergio (2021) Pragmatic Prospection and Environmental Modifications: An Experience Sampling Study. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

[thumbnail of Pineda_2021_pragmatic_prospection_environmental_modifications_experien.pdf] Text
Pineda_2021_pragmatic_prospection_environmental_modifications_experien.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (896kB) | Request a copy


Pragmatic prospection describes thinking about the future in ways that have practical utility by guiding current behavior. Recent research trends have focused on the cognitive mechanics behind prospection, but there is less research investigating the subsequent behavior involved in prospection. By adopting social cognitive theory, the current project aimed to (a) quantify the frequency of everyday pragmatic prospection in a sample of college students, (b) investigate relationships between prospection and environmental modifications, and (c) investigate the role reinforcement sensitivity bias has on pragmatic prospection. Using experience sampling methodology, participants answered an 8-question survey asking about participants most recent thought and intended behavior sent to them via text message on their personal phones 30 times throughout a course of five days. Results indicated that after thoughts about the present, thoughts about the future were the most common. Prospection made up about 75% of all future thoughts. Results indicated that deliberately thinking and external cues were the main source of prospection (what participants thought caused the thought to happen). The current project identified three different types of environments people modify: personal, social, and physical environments. Prospection was significantly related to more environmental modifications and more related subsequent behavior than other kind of thoughts. Thoughts about the future were the most meaningful compared to thoughts with other temporal contexts. Finally, within thoughts about prospection, people who tend to avoid unpleasant outcomes were positively related to avoidance behavior and negatively related to approach behavior. Adopting the pragmatic theory of prospection (Baumeister et al., 2016) and social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2001) I demonstrate that people have a natural tendency to engage in future thinking that serves practical utility by guiding current behavior. Just like the environment has implications on engaging in prospection (external cues), prospection leads to behaviors that involve modifications to the environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Big Five Inventory ; BIS/BAS; Designed Environment; Free Will Belief; Prospection; Social Cognitive Theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
MeSH Subjects: F Psychiatry and Psychology > F02 Psychological Phenomena and Processes
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Psychological Sciences
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 22:21
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 22:21
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5806

Actions (login required)

IR Staff Record View IR Staff Record View


Downloads per month over past year