2015 | 46 | 2 | 246-261
Article title

Temporal Self-Extension: Implications for Temporal Comparison and Autobiographical Memory

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Research on temporal comparison has shown that people dissociate themselves from their past to attain a positive self view. Social comparison research has demonstrated that the distinctness of contextually activated information determines whether a recalled self exerts assimilation or contrast effects on the current self. However, hardly any study addressed individual differences. Also, very little is known about whether the ease or difficulty to date past events and experiences influences current self-judgments. We present a new scale capturing the degree of the current self time extension. Three studies support the notion that temporal self-extension determines how past selves are accessed and processed, regarding both the abstractness with which self-knowledge is retrieved and the experienced temporal distance to the past. These findings have important implications for temporal as well as social comparison processes.
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  • University of Tübingen, Germany
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