The Power of Mental Simulation

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By ReplaceableIguana



30 Questions

What is the focus of mental simulation according to the text?

What does the text suggest about envisioning successful completion of a goal?

What does the text imply about the ability to imagine future events?

What is described as a fundamental task in moving from a current situation toward an envisioned future?

What produced progress in achieving goals or resolving stressful events?

What is the main focus of the discussion in the text?

What do social psychologists study in relation to imagination?

What is the focus of outcome simulation for achieving personal goals?

What does the self-help literature promote for goal achievement?

What do stress and coping researchers maintain about imagination?

What does process simulation address in terms of self-regulation?

What is mental simulation in the context of imagination?

How do clinicians use imagination to help their clients?

What does the research predict about process simulation compared to outcome simulation?

In the intervention study with psychology students, what did students in the process-simulation condition visualize themselves doing?

What does mental simulation evoke?

How were the interventions in the study matched?

What does the process-simulation viewpoint suggest about mental simulation?

What is mental simulation?

What do personality psychologists study in relation to imagination?

What has research in sport psychology shown about mental practice?

How does mental simulation contribute to regulating behavior?

What is the general ability of imagination as referred to in the text?

What is the importance of mental simulation in cognitive-behavior therapy?

What did research show about the specificity of mental simulations?

How did homeowners' mental simulation of owning cable affect their likelihood to subscribe?

What is the role of mental simulations in anticipating the future?

How specific are mental simulations according to the text?

What did experts like Peter Lynch use mental simulation for?

What did research show about the believability of events when mentally simulated?


The Power of Mental Simulation in Shaping Beliefs and Problem-Solving

  • Nine empirical investigations have shown that people are more likely to believe hypothetical events will occur if they mentally simulate them, compared to other cognitive activities.
  • In a study, homeowners who mentally simulated owning cable were more likely to want to subscribe than those who only read about its advantages.
  • Mental simulations are constrained by reality, making them useful for anticipating the future as they rely on plausible scenarios.
  • Mental simulations involve creating highly specific settings and behaviors, matching the specificity of social reality, and providing emergent information relevant to problem-solving activities.
  • Imagining how events will take place can provide information about those events, leading to opportunities that might have been missed otherwise.
  • Experts, such as investment adviser Peter Lynch, and commanders of elite fire-fighting units and Desert Storm tacticians, have recognized the important role of mental simulation in solving problems.
  • Peter Lynch used mental simulation to recognize the needs a product would meet and make timely investment decisions.
  • A Tactical Action Officer averted a major diplomatic catastrophe by refusing to fire at an unidentified aircraft, based on a mental simulation involving helicopters from other ships in the Battle Group.
  • Mental simulations are at the same level of specificity as social interaction, involving a sequence of interdependent actions causally linked to each other, yielding a plan.
  • Research has shown that mental simulations make events seem true because they obey the constraints of reality, and are typically not magical but plausible.
  • Mental simulations are useful for anticipating the future as they rely on plausible scenarios and provide emergent information relevant to problem-solving activities.
  • Experts have long recognized the important role that mental simulation can play in solving problems, using it to make timely investment decisions and avert major diplomatic catastrophes.


Explore the impact of mental simulation on shaping beliefs and problem-solving in this quiz. Learn how mental simulations can influence perceptions, decision-making, and problem-solving activities through real-life examples and empirical investigations. Understand the role of mental simulations in anticipating the future and gaining emergent information to tackle challenges effectively.

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