Pioneering ideas of the human mind.
October 20, 2020. 12:00 PM
Charitable cause: ACLU
Title: Harnessing your imagination to reframe negative memories
Abstract: Revisiting and remembering past memories is a regular part of everyday life. However, sometimes people fixate on negative memories in ways that can be maladaptive. How might we prevent the ill effects of negative memory recollection? In this talk, I propose the use of a naturalistic technique, called counterfactual thinking, to help people process negative memories. Counterfactual thinking is the process of reflecting upon memories by imagining how they could have gone differently; these are often phrased as “what if” or “if only” statements (e.g., “what if I had studied more for my test?”). While counterfactual thinking is largely automatic, it may be intentionally utilized to alter the emotional response to a memory. By examining counterfactual thinking as an emotion regulation technique, we may begin to use this method to combat behaviors such as worry and rumination that are associated with maladaptive memory simulation.
Closed captioning will be provided.