Professor of Psychology
Social, Developmental

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Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation

“In her smart, lucid book, Dr. Oettingen critically reexamines positive thinking and gives readers a more nuanced—and useful—understanding of motivation based on solid empirical evidence.” —DR. RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, The New York Times

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"How do you get from dreaming to doing? This exciting and important book shows you how to turn your dreams into reality. You'll be surprised at how thoroughly it overturns conventional wisdom."
— Carol S. Dweck, Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, and author of Mindset

“This book is a wise delight. Some kinds of positive thinking are beneficial, other kinds are downright dangerous, and Gabriele Oettingen has spent her scientific career figuring out which are which. The fruits of her labor are deep, plentiful, and yours for the taking.”
— Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness

“Gabriele Oettingen presents a well-written thought-provoking evidence-based self-help book. Hers is an intriguing approach to overcoming life challenges at all ages. It is a worthy read.”
— James Joseph Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics



Self-Regulation in Adolescence

Self-Regulation in Adolescence

"This wonderful book brings together top scholars from diverse fields and perspectives to address one of the most centrally important issues for understanding human life, namely how young people acquire and use the powers of self-regulation so as to change from being dependent children into adult citizens. From the details of brain processes to the grand sweep of historical change to comparisons across species, the perspectives represented in this book offer powerful and useful insights. Some adolescents fall prey to the problems and pitfalls of this period, while (most) others navigate it fairly successfully and emerge into adult life; this book illuminates why and how those things happen."
—Roy F. Baumeister, Florida State University

"A fantastic collection of articles by luminaries in developmental and motivation psychology … This is a must-read for anyone who studies, or cares about, how adolescents learn to align their thoughts, feelings, and actions with their personal goals."
— Angela Lee Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania

"Bringing together leading scholars from the several disciplines needed to advance understanding of how self-regulation processes enable individuals to contribute to their positive behavior and health, both during adolescence and the entire life span, Professors Oettingen and Gollwitzer have created a work that uniquely advances theory, research, and application. Self-Regulation in Adolescence is required reading for scholars and practitioners interested in describing, explaining, and optimizing the role of self-regulation in positive youth development."
— Richard M. Lerner, Tufts University




Research

Self-regulation of goal setting and goal disengagement

My research addresses two broad questions: (1) What self-regulatory strategies can people use to turn their positive fantasies about the future into binding goals, and (2) what self-regulatory strategies can people use to disengage from their goals? The research relates to various areas in social and personality psychology, developmental and educational psychology, as well as health and clinical psychology.

Engagement to goals

Mentally contrasting a desired future with present reality leads to the emergence of binding goals with consecutive goal striving and goal attainment, as long as chances of success are perceived to be high. To the contrary, mentally elaborating either the desired future only (indulging) or the present reality only (dwelling) leads to moderate goal commitment, even if chances of success look promising. These effects were observed in a variety of life domains (e.g., interpersonal relations, academic achievement, professional achievement, health, life management) and with different paradigms (e.g., salience, reinterpretation). Recently, we have discovered the underlying cognitive and motivational processes of mental contrasting and also applied this self-regulatory technique in intervention studies. Finally, we analyzed mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) as an effective strategy to change bad habits in the achievement, interpersonal, and health domains.

Disengagement from goals

Mentally contrasting a desired future with present reality leads to disengagement from goals, if chances of success are perceived to be low. Mentally elaborating either the desired future only (indulging) or the present reality only (dwelling) to the contrary, maintains goal commitment even when chances of success are perceived as being low. Again, we have demonstrated these effects in various life domains (e.g., interpersonal relations, health) and with different paradigms. Currently, we are using mental contrasting procedures to help people disengage from goals that are not feasible (e.g., from a damaged relationship, from an unattainable professional identity). People simply have to mentally contrast their desired future with present reality. If chances of success are perceived as being low, the disengagement process can begin so that people can move on to more feasible goals.

Committing to approach goals versus avoidance goals

Mental contrasting does not only turn positive fantasies about a desired future into binding approach goals but also turns negative fantasies about an undesired future into binding avoidance goals. More specifically, people must contrast negative fantasies about an undesired, feared future with positive aspects of the current, safe reality, and expectations of successfully avoiding the undesired future have to be high. Using mental contrasting to turn fearful fantasies into constructive avoidance goals should be of particular importance when people have a hard time generating positive fantasies about the future (e.g., in the health domain, or in situations involving prejudice against members of an out-group).

Indulging and the uncontrollable

Can indulging in a positive future have beneficial effects on motivation and well-being? We find that when facing controllable and escapable tasks, people benefit from mentally contrasting fantasy with reality. However, when facing tasks that cannot be mastered or relinquished (e.g., being terminally ill), indulging in positive fantasies should be beneficial, because it allows one to “stay in the field.”

Culture and self-regulatory thought

In the past, I conducted research on how cultural and political factors shape the development of efficacy beliefs, control beliefs, and attributional styles. I now ask the question of how cultural factors influence the development of the three modes of self-regulatory thought (i.e., mental contrasting, indulging, dwelling). For example, we are investigating the prevalence of the three modes of self-regulatory thought in cultures that differ in their degree of norm-orientation.

Coping with stress and interpersonal relations

We also analyze the psychological processes that make people who mentally contrast sensitive to chances of success and make people who indulge and dwell insensitive to chances of success. For example, we ask whether mental contrasting instead of indulging/dwelling promotes differential processing of relevant performance feedback, differential evaluations of critical experiences, and differential ways of coping with failure as well as acute and chronic stress. Another line of research focuses on the interpersonal consequences of mental contrasting versus indulging and dwelling. In comparison to mental contrasting, indulging and dwelling should make people disregard the needs and behaviors of their interaction partners (e.g., romantic partner, child, employee). This insensitivity then might affect the interaction partner’s direct responses as well as his or her long-term thoughts, feelings, and actions (e.g., aspirations, attitudes, decisions).

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Biography


Education

M.A Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, 1982, Biology (Biochemistry, Physiology)

Ph.D. Doctor rer. nat., Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich and Max-Planck-Institute for Behavioral Physiology, Seewiesen, Germany, 1986, Biology (Ethology)

Habilitation Free University, Berlin, 1996, Psychology

Positions

1983 - 1985 Predoctoral Fellow, Medical Research Council, Madingley, Cambridge, England.

1986 - 1989 Postdoctoral Fellow, John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, Node for Health and Behavior, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA (Prof. Dr. M. E. P. Seligman, Advisor)

1989 - 1999 Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

1999 - 2002 Visiting Associate Professor, New York University, New York

Since 2000 Professor of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Since 2002 Professor of Psychology, New York University, New York

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Selected Publications

IN PRESS

Adriaanse, M., Kroese, F., Weijers, J., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (in press). Explaining unexplainable food choices. European Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Oettingen, G., & Chromik, M. P. (in press). How Hope Influences Goal-Directed Behavior. In S. J. Lopez & M. W. Gallagher (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Hope. New York City, NY: Oxford University Press.

Sheeran, P., Webb, T. L., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (in press). Self‐regulation of affect‐health behavior relations. In D. M. Williams, R. E. Rhodes, & M. T. Conner (Eds.). Affective determinants of health‐related behavior. New York: Oxford University Press..

2016

Ahn, J. N., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2016). Projection of visceral needs: Satisfaction of the need and similarity of the target person as moderators. Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000286

Baumeister, R. F., Vohs, K. D., & Oettingen, G. (2016). Pragmatic Prospection: How and Why People Think About the Future. Review of General Psychology, 20, 3-16.

Bieleke, M., Gollwitzer, P. M., Oettingen, G., & Fischbacher, U. (2016). Social value orientation moderates the effects of intuition versus reflection on responses to unfair ultimatum offers. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/bdm.1975

Freydefont, L., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2016). Goal striving strategies and effort mobilization: When implementation intentions reduce effort-related cardiac activity during task performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 107, 44-53.

Fritzsche, A., Schlier, B., Oettingen, G., & Lincoln, T. M. (2016). Mental contrasting with implementation intentions increases goal-attainment in individuals with mild to moderate depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 40, 557-564. doi 10.1007/s10608-015-9749-6

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2016). Planning promotes goal striving. In K. D. Vohs & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.) (3rd Edition), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 223-244). New York: Guilford.

Hagger, M. S., Luszczynska, A., de Wit, J., Oettingen, G., Sheeran, P., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2016). Implementation intention and planning interventions in health psychology: Recommendations from the Synergy expert group for research and practice. Psychology & Health, 31, 814-839.

Loy, L. S., Wieber, F., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2016). Supporting sustainable food consumption: Mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) aligns intentions and behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 7, Article 607.

Martiny-Huenger, T., Bieleke, M., Oettingen G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2016). From thought to automatic action: Strategic and incidental action control by if-then planning. In R. Deutsch, B. Gawronski, & W. Hofmann (Eds.), Reflective and impulsive determinants of behavior (pp. 69-84). New York: Psychology Press.

Marquardt, M., Gantman, A. P., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2016). Incomplete professional identity goals can override moral concerns. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Oettingen, G., & Cachia, J. Y. (2016). The problems with positive thinking and how to regulate them. In K. D. Vohs & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.) (3rd Edition), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 547-570). New York: Guilford

Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., & Portnow, S. (2016). Pleasure now, pain later: Positive fantasies about the future predict symptoms of depression. Psychological Science, 27, 345-353.

Oettingen, G., Reininger, K. M. (2016). The power of prospection: Mental contrasting and behavior change. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10, 591‐604.

2015

Ahn, J., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2015). Goal projection in public places. European Journal of Social Psychology.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2015). From studying the determinants of action to analysing its regulation: a commentary on Sniehotta, Presseau, and Araújo-Soares. Health Psychology Review, 9, 146-150.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2015). Motivation and actions. In J. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences (pp. 887-893). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2015). Motivation, history of the concept. In J. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences (pp. 936-939). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (Eds.) (2015). Self-regulation in adolescence. New York: Cambridge Press.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2015). Self-regulation: Principles and tools. In G. Oettingen & P. M. Gollwitzer (Eds.), Self-regulation in adolescence (pp. 3-29). New York: Cambridge Press.

Oettingen, G., Kappes, H. B., Guttenberg, K. B., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2015). Self-regulation of time management: Mental contrasting with implementation intentions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 218-229.

Oettingen, G., Schrage, J., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2015). Volition. In L. Corno & E. Anderman (Eds.), Handbook of Educational Psychology (3rd ed., pp. 104-117). . New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor, & Francis.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2015). Future thought and the self-regulation of energization. In G. H. E. Gendolla, M. Tops, & S. Koole (Eds.), Handbook of biobehavioral approaches to self-regulation (pp. 315-329). New York: Springer.

Sevincer, A. T., Schlier, B., & Oettingen, G. (2015). Ego depletion and the use of mental contrasting. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 876-891.

Wesnousky, A. E., Oettingen, G., Gollwitzer, P. M. (2015). Holding a silver lining theory: When negative attributes heighten performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 57, 15-22.

2014

Gantman, A., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Mindful mindlessness in goal pursuit (pp. 236-257). In A. Ie, C. D. Ngnoumen, & E. J. Langer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of mindfulness. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gollwitzer, P. M., Martiny-Huenger, T., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Affective consequences of intentional action control. In A. J. Elliot (Ed.), Advances in Motivation Science (pp. 49-83). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Kappes, A., & Oettingen, G. (2014). The emergence of goal pursuit: Mental contrasting connects future and reality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 54, 25-39.

Longoni, C., Gollwitzer. P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2014). A green paradox: Validating green choices has ironic effects on behavior, cognition, and perception. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 50, 158-165.

Maglio, S. J., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Emotion and control in the planning of goals. Motivation and Emotion, 38, 620-634.

Martiny-Huenger, T., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Distractor devaluation in a flanker task: Object-specific effects without distractor recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 613-625.

Martiny-Huenger, T., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Selective attention to in- and outgroup members systematically influences intergroup bias. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 936-943.

Oettingen, G. (2014). Rethinking positive thinking: inside the new science of motivation. New York, NY: Penguin Random House.

Oettingen, G., Ahn, J. N., Gollwitzer, P. M., Kappes, A., & Kawada, C. L. K. (2014). Goal projection and giving help. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 54, 204-214.

Sevincer, A. T., Busatta, P. D., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Mental contrasting and transfer of energization. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 139-152.

Sevincer, A. T., Kluge, L., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Implicit theories and motivational focus: Desired future versus present reality. Motivation and Emotion, 38, 36-46.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Alcohol myopia and goal commitment. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:169.

Sevincer, A. T., Wagner, G., Kalvelage, J., & Oettingen, G. (2014). Positive thinking about the future in newspaper reports and presidential addresses predicts economic downturn. Psychological Science, 25, 1010-1017.

2013

Duckworth, A. L., Kirby, T. A., Gollwitzer, A., & Oettingen, G. (2013). From fantasy to action: Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII) improves academic performance in children. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 745-753.

Gawrilow, C., Morgenroth, K., Schultz, R., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. (2013). Mental contrasting with implementation intentions enhances self-regulation of goal pursuit in schoolchildren at risk for ADHD. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 134-145. 

Gawrilow, C., Oettingen, G., & Sevincer, A. T. (2013). Mögliches Selbst (Possible self). In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 1390). Bern: Huber.

Gawrilow, C., Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Construal level theory. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 339). Bern: Huber.

Gollwitzer, P. M., Gantman, A., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Intention. In B. Kaldis (Ed.), Encyclopedia of philosophy and the social sciences. London, UK: Sage Publications

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Implementation intentions. In  M. Gellman & J. R. Turner (Eds.), Encyclopedia of behavioral medicine (Part 9, pp. 1043-1048). New York:Springer-Verlag.

Houssais, S., Oettingen, G., & Mayer, D. (2013). Using mental contrasting with implementation intentions to self-regulate insecurity-based behaviors in relationships. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 224-233.

Job, V., Oettingen, G., & Sevincer, A. T. (2013). Leistungszielorientierung [Performance goal]. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (pp. 936-937). Bern: Huber.

Job, V., Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Lernzielorientierung [Learning goal]. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 958). Bern: Huber.

Kappes, A., Wendt, M., Reinelt, T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Mental contrasting changes the meaning of reality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 797-810.

Kappes, H. B., Sharma, E., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Positive fantasies dampen charitable giving when many resources are demanded. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 23, 128-135.

Kirk, D., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2013). Promoting integrative bargaining: Mental contrasting with implementation intentions. International Journal of Conflict Management, 24, 148-165.

Klinger, E., Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Zielablösezyklus [Disengagernent cycle]. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 1698). Bern: Huber.

Maglio, S. J., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Action control by implementation intentions: The role of discrete emotions. In A. Clark, J. Kiverstein, & T. Vierkant (Eds.), Decomposing the will (pp. 221-243). New York: Oxford University Press.

Oettingen, G., & Schwörer, B. (2013). Mind wandering via mental contrasting as a tool for behavior change. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:562.

Oettingen, G., & Sevincer, A. T. (2013). Fantasierealisierung, Theorie [Fantasy realization theory. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 535). Bern: Huber.

Oettingen, G., Wittchen, M., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2013). Regulating goal pursuit through Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions. In E. A. Locke, & G. P. Latham (Eds.), New developments in goal setting and task performance (pp. 523-548). New York, NY: Routledge.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Alcohol intake leads people to focus on desirability rather than feasibility. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 165-176.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Prozess Simulation [Process simulation]. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 1236). Bern: Huber.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Spontaneous mental contrasting and selective goal pursuit. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1240-1254.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2013). Zielhierarchie [Goal hierarchy]. In M. Wirtz (Ed.), Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie (p. 1701). Bern: Huber.

Sheeran, P., Harris, P., Vaughan, J., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2013). Gone exercising: Mental contrasting promotes physical activity among overweight, middle-aged, low-SES fishermen. Health Psychology, 32, 802-809.

Stern, C., Cole, S., Gollwitzer, P. M., Oettingen, G., & Balcetis, E. (2013). Effects of implementation intentions on anxiety, perceived proximity, and motor performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 623-635.

2012

Achtziger, A., Martiny, S. E., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2012). Meta-cognitive processes in the self-regulation of goal pursuit. In P. B. & K. DeMarree (Eds.), Social Meta-Cognition. Frontier of Social Psychology Series (pp. 121-139). New York: Psychology Press.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2012). Goal pursuit. In R. Ryan (Ed.). Oxford handbook of human motivation (pp. 208-231). New York: Oxford University Press.  

Johannessen, K. B., Oettingen, G., & Mayer, D. (2012). Mental contrasting of a dieting wish improves self-reported health behaviour. Psychology and Health, 27, 43-58.

Kappes, A., Oettingen, G., & Pak, H. (2012). Mental contrasting and the self-regulation of responding to negative feedback. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 845-856.

Kappes, A., Singman, H., & Oettingen, G. (2012). Mental contrasting instigates goal pursuit by linking obstacles of reality with instrumental behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 811-818.

Kappes, H. B., & Oettingen, G. (2012). Wishful information preference: Positive fantasies mimic the effects of intentionsPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 870-881.

Kappes, H. B., Oettingen, G., & Mayer, D. (2012). Positive fantasies predict low academic achievement in disadvantaged students. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 53-64.

Kappes, H. B., Schwörer, B., & Oettingen, G. (2012). Needs instigate positive fantasies of idealized futures. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 299-307.

Oettingen, G. (2012). Future thought and behavior change. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology, 23, 1-63.

Oettingen, G., Marquardt, M. K., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2012). Mental contrasting turns positive feedback on creative potential into successful performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 990-996.

Sevincer, A. T., Oettingen, G., & Lerner, T. (2012). Alcohol affects goal commitment by explicitly and implicitly induced myopia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology121, 524-529.

2011

Duckworth, A. L., Grant, H., Loew, B., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2011). Self-regulation strategies improve self-discipline in adolescents: Benefits of mental contrasting and implementation intentions. Educational Psychology,31, 17-26.

Gawrilow, C., Gollwitzer, P. M., Oettingen, G. (2011). If-then plans benefit delay of gratification performance in children with and without ADHD. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 35, 442-455.

Gawrilow, C., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2011). If-then plans benefit executive functions in children with ADHD. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30, 616-646.

Gollwitzer, A., Oettingen, G., Kirby, T., Duckworth, A. L., & Mayer, D. (2011). Mental contrasting facilitates academic performance in school children. Motivation and Emotion, 35, 403-412. 

Gollwitzer, P. M., Kappes, H. B., & Oettingen, G. (2011). Needs and incentives as sources of goals. In H. Aaarts & A. Elliot (Eds.), Goal-directed behavior (pp. 115-149). Philadelphia: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2011). Planning promotes goal striving. In K. D. Vohs & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 162-185). New York: Guilford.

Kappes, H. B., & Oettingen, G. (2011). Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 719-729.

Kappes, H. B., Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., & Maglio, S. (2011). Sad mood promotes self-initiated mental contrasting of future and reality. Emotion, 11, 1206-1222.

Kappes, H. B., Stephens, E. J., & Oettingen, G. (2011). Implicit theories moderate the relation of positive future fantasies to academic outcomes. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 269-278.

Kirk, D., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2011). Mental contrasting promotes integrative bargaining. International Journal of Conflict Management, 22, 324-341.

2010

Adriaanse, M. A., Oettingen, G., Gollwitzer, P. M., Hennes, E. P., de Ridder, D. T. D., & de Witt, J. B. F. (2010). When planning is not enough: Fighting unhealthy snacking habits by mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII). European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 1277–1293

Bargh, J. A., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2010). Motivation. In S. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzay (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., pp. 268-316). New York: Wiley.

Christiansen, S., Oettingen, G., Dahme, B., & Klinger, R. (2010). A short goal-pursuit intervention to improve physical capacity: A randomized clinical trial in chronic back pain patients. Pain, 149, 444-452.

Gollwitzer, P. M., Gawrilow, C., & Oettingen, G. (2010). The power of planning: Self-control by effective goal-striving. In R. R. Hassin, K. N. Ochsner, & Y. Trope (Eds.), Self control in society, mind, and brain (pp. 279-296). New York: Oxford University Press.

Klasen, F., Oettingen, G., Daniels, J., Post, M., & Adam, H. (2010). Multiple trauma and mental health in former Ugandan child soldiers. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 573-581.

Klasen, F., Oettingen, G., Daniels, J., Post, M., Hoyer, C., & Adam, H. (2010). Posttraumatic resilience in former Ugandan child soldiers. Child Development, 81, 1096–1113.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2010). Strategies of setting and implementing goals: Mental contrasting and implementation intentions. In J. E. Maddux & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Social psychological foundations of clinical psychology (pp. 114-135). New York: Guilford.

Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., & Brinkmann, B. (2010). Mental contrasting of future and reality: Managing the demands of everyday life in health care professionals. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 9, 138-144.

Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., & Thorpe, J. (2010). Self-regulation of commitment to reduce cigarette consumption: Mental contrasting of future with reality. Psychology and Health, 25, 961-977.

Oettingen, G., Stephens, E. J., Mayer, D., & Brinkmann, B. (2010). Mental contrasting and the self-regulation of helping relations. Social Cognition, 28, 490-508.

Parks-Stamm, E. J., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2010). Implementation intentions and test anxiety: Shielding academic performance from distraction. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 30-33.

Parks-Stamm, E. J., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2010). Making sense of one's actions in an explanatory vacuum: The interpretation of nonconscious goal striving. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 531-542.

Stadler, G., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2010). Intervention effects of information and self-regulation on eating fruits and vegetables over two years. Health Psychology, 29, 274-283.

2009

Achtziger, A., Fehr, T., Oettingen, G., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Rockstroh, B. (2009). Strategies of intention formation are reflected in continuous MEG activity. Social Neuroscience, 4, 11-27.

Gilbert, S. J., Gollwitzer, P. M., Cohen, A-L., Oettingen, G., & Burgess, P. W. (2009). Separable brain systems supporting cued versus self-initiated realization of delayed intentions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 905-915.

Gollwitzer, P. M., Parks-Stamm, E. J., & Oettingen, G. (2009). Living on the edge: Shifting between nonconscious and conscious goal pursuit. In E. Morsella, J. A. Bargh, & P. M. Gollwitzer (Eds.), Oxford handbook of human action (pp. 603-624). New York: Oxford University Press. 

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2009). Embodied goal pursuit. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 1210-1213.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2009). Making goal pursuit effective: Expectancy- dependent goal setting and planned goal striving. In J. P. Forgas, R. F. Baumeister, & D. M. Tice (Eds.), Psychology of self-regulation: Cognitive, affective, and motivational processes (pp. 127-146). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Oettingen, G., & Kappes, A. (2009). Mental contrasting of the future and reality to master negative feedback. In K. D. Markman, W. M. P. Klein, & J. A. Suhr, (Eds.), Handbook of imagination and mental simulation (pp. 395-412). New York: Psychology Press.

Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., Sevincer, A. T., Stephens, E. J., Pak, H., & Hagenah, M. (2009). Mental contrasting and goal commitment: The mediating role of energization. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 608-622.

Oettingen, G., & Stephens, E. J. (2009). Fantasies and motivationally intelligent goal setting. In G. B. Moskowitz & H. Grant (Eds.), The psychology of goals (pp. 153-178). New York: Guilford Press.

Sevincer, A. T., & Oettingen, G. (2009). Alcohol breeds empty goal commitments. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 623-633.

Stadler, G., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2009). Physical activity in women: Effects of a self-regulation intervention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36, 29-34.

2008

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2008). The question-behavior effect from an action control perspective. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18, 107-110.

Oettingen, G., Sevincer, A. T., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2008). Goal pursuit in the context of culture. In R. Sorrentino & S. Yamaguchi (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition across cultures (pp. 191-211). San Diego: Elsevier.

2007

Fujita, K., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2007). Mindsets and pre-conscious open-mindedness to incidental information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 48-61.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2007). The role of goal setting and goal striving in medical adherence. In D. C. Park & L. L. Liu (Eds.), Medical adherence and aging: Social and cognitive perspectives (pp. 23-47). Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.

Henderson, M. D., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2007). Implementation intentions and disengagement from a failing course of action. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 20, 81-102.

Parks-Stamm, E. J., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2007). Action control by implementation intentions: Effective cue detection and efficient response initiation. Social Cognition, 25, 248-266.

Perkins, M. B., Jensen, P. S., Jaccard, J., Gollwitzer, P. M., Oettingen, G., Pappadopulos, E., & Hoagwood, K. E. (2007). Applying theory-driven approaches to understanding and modifying clinicians’ behavior: What do we know? Psychiatric Services, 58, 342-348.

2006

Oettingen, G., Grant, H., Smith, P. K., Skinner, M., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2006). Nonconscious goal pursuit: Acting in an explanatory vacuum. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 668-675.

Oettingen, G., & Thorpe, J. (2006). Fantasy realization and the bridging of time. In L. J. Sanna & E. C. Chang (Eds.), Judgments over time: The interplay of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (pp. 120-142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Oettingen, G., & Zosuls, K.M. (2006). Culture and self-efficacy in adolescents. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan. (Eds.), Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents. Volume V of Adolescence and education (p. 245-265). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

2005

Oettingen, G., & Hagenah, M. (2005). Fantasies and the self-regulation of competence. In A. Elliot & C. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 647-665). New York: Guilford.

Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., Thorpe, J. S., Janetzke, H., & Lorenz, S. (2005). Turning fantasies about positive and negative futures into self-improvement goals. Motivation and Emotion, 29, 237-267.

2004

Gollwitzer, P. M., Fujita, K., & Oettingen, G. (2004). Planning and the implementation of goals. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 211-228). New York: Guilford Press.

Kawada, C., Oettingen, G., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Bargh, J. A. (2004). The projection of implicit and explicit goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 545-559.

Oettingen, G., Bulgarella, C., Henderson, M., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2004). The self-regulation of goal pursuit. In R. A.Wright, J. Greenberg, & S. S. Brehm (Eds.), Motivation and emotion in social contexts: Jack Brehm’s influence on contemporary psychological thought (pp. 225-244). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

2003

Little, T. D., Miyashita, T., Karasawa, M., Mashima, M., Oettingen, G., Azuma, H., & Baltes, P. B. (2003). The links among action-control beliefs, intellective skill, and school performance in Japanese, U.S., and German school children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 41-48.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2003). Self-regulation and conflict resolution. In A. Nadler & M. Dajani (Eds.), Social and psychological factors in conflict and its resolution: The Mid-Eastern and European experience. Brussels: European Commission.

2002

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2002). Motivation: History of the concept. In J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (pp. 10109-10112). Oxford, U.K.: Elsevier.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2002). Psychology of motivation and actions. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (pp. 10105-10109). Oxford, U.K.: Elsevier.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2002). Turning hope thoughts into goal-directed behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 304-307.

Oettingen, G., & Mayer, D. (2002). The motivating function of thinking about the future: Expectations versus fantasies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1198-1212.

2001

Little, T. D., Lopez, D. F., Oettingen, G., & Baltes, P. B. (2001). A comparative-longitudinal study of action-control beliefs and school performance: On the role of context. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25, 237-245.

Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2001). Goal setting and goal striving. In A. Tesser & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Intraindividual processes (pp. 329-347). Oxford: Blackwell.

Oettingen, G., Pak, H., & Schnetter, K. (2001). Self-regulation of goal setting: Turning free fantasies about the future into binding goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 736-753.

2000

Gollwitzer, P. M., Delius, J. D., & Oettingen, G. (2000). Motivation. In K. Pawlik, & M. R. Rosenzweig (Eds.), International Handbook of Psychology (pp. 191-206). London, UK: Sage.

Oettingen, G. (2000). Expectancy effects on behavior depend on self-regulatory thought. Social Cognition, 18, 101-129.

Oettingen, G., Hönig, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2000). Effective self-regulation of goal attainment. International Journal of Educational Research, 33, 705-732.

Stetsenko, A., Little, T. D., Gordeeva, T., Grasshof, M., & Oettingen, G. (2000). Gender effects in children’s beliefs about school performance: A cross-cultural study. Child Development, 71, 517-527.

1999

Oettingen, G. (1999). Free fantasies about the future and the emergence of developmental goals. In J. Brandstädter & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Action and self-development: Theory and research through the life span (pp. 315-342). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Oettingen, G., & Maier, H. (1999). Where political system meets culture: Effects on efficacy appraisal. In Y.-T. Lee, C. R. McCauley, & J. Draguns (Eds.), Personality and person perception across cultures (pp. 163-190). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

1998

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (1998). The emergence and implementation of health goals. Psychology and Health, 13, 687-715.

Lopez, D. F., Little, T. D., Oettingen, G., & Baltes, P. B. (1998). Self-regulation and school performance: Is there an optimal level of action-control? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 70, 54-74.

1997

Oettingen, G. (1997). Culture and future thought. Culture & Psychology, 3, 353-381.

1996

Oettingen, G. (1996). Positive fantasy and motivation. In P. M. Gollwitzer & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior (pp. 236-259). New York: Guilford Press.

1995

Little, T. D., Oettingen, G., Stetsenko, A., & Baltes, P. B. (1995). Children's action-control beliefs about school performance: How do American children compare to German and Russian children? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 686-700.

Oettingen, G. (1995). Cross-cultural perspectives on self-efficacy. In A. Bandura (Ed.), Self-efficacy in changing societies (pp. 149-176). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Oettingen, G. (1995). Explanatory style in the context of culture. In G. M. Buchanan & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.), Explanatory style (pp. 209-224). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Stetsenko, A., Little, T. D., Oettingen, G., & Baltes, P. B. (1995). Agency, control, and means-ends beliefs about school performance in Moscow children: How similar are they to beliefs of Western children? Developmental Psychology, 31, 285-299.

1994

Oettingen, G., Little, T. D., Lindenberger, U., & Baltes, P. B. (1994). Causality, agency, and control beliefs in East versus West Berlin children: A natural experiment on the role of context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 579-595.

1991

Oettingen, G., & Wadden, T. A. (1991). Expectation, fantasy, and weight loss: Is the impact of positive thinking always positive? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 15, 167-175.

1990

Oettingen, G., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1990). Pessimism and behavioral signs of depression in East versus West Berlin. European Journal of Social Psychology, 20, 207-220.

1988

Zullow, H. M., Oettingen, G., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1988). Pessimistic explanatory style in the historical record: CAVing LBJ, presidential candidates, and East versus West Berlin. American Psychologist, 43, 673-682.

1985

Oettingen, G. (1985). The influence of the kindergarten teacher on sex differences in behavior. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 8, 3-13.

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Address



Gabriele Oettingen

Professor of Psychology

Psychology Department
New York University
6 Washington Place, Room 472
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212)-998-7915
Fax: (212)-995-4966

Email: gabriele.oettingen@nyu.edu

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