Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation

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9781138876828: Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation

Over the past thirty years, and particularly within the last ten years, researchers in the areas of social psychology, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience have been examining fascinating questions regarding the nature of imagination and mental simulation – the imagination and generation of alternative realities. Some of these researchers have focused on the specific processes that occur in the brain when an individual is mentally simulating an action or forming a mental image, whereas others have focused on the consequences of mental simulation processes for affect, cognition, motivation, and behavior.

This Handbook provides a novel and stimulating integration of work on imagination and mental simulation from a variety of perspectives. It is the first broad-based volume to integrate specific sub-areas such as mental imagery, imagination, thought flow, narrative transportation, fantasizing, and counterfactual thinking, which have, until now, been treated by researchers as disparate and orthogonal lines of inquiry. As such, the volume enlightens psychologists to the notion that a wide-range of mental simulation phenomena may actually share a commonality of underlying processes.

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About the Author:

Keith D. Markman is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Ohio University, where he a member of the Social Judgment and Behavioral Decision-Making program. Dr. Markman received his Ph.D. in 1994 at Indiana University and completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Ohio State University. He conducts research in the areas of counterfactual thinking, emotion and motivation, judgment and decision making, and psychological momentum, having published over 30 articles and book chapters in these areas. Dr. Markman is currently an associate editor of Basic and Applied Social Psychology and Social and Personality Psychology Compass. He was nominated for the 2003 Theoretical Innovation Prize in social and personality psychology and won the outstanding junior faculty award at Ohio University in 2004.

William M. P. Klein is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is a member of the Social Psychology program and the Biological and Health Psychology program. He conducts research in the areas of social comparison, unrealistic optimism, risk perception, self-affirmation, ambiguity aversion, and health behavior, having published over 50 articles and chapters in these areas. Dr. Klein is a former co-editor of Psychology and Health and a recipient of the 2008 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Pittsburgh.

Julie A. Suhr is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Ohio University. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1994 from the University of Iowa and completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology in the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where her research work was funded by a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Aging. Her current research is focused on neuropsychological and psychological functioning in various neurological, neuropsychiatric, and medical disorders, and she is co-investigator on National Institutes of Health grants examining neuropsychological and psychophysiological effects of aging beliefs and stereotypes and neuropsychological factors associated with treatment for depression in individuals with HIV.

Review:

"This handbook is a marvelous resource of information that provides vital insights into human consciousness and mental life. The chapters provide a rich assortment of perspectives and fascinating lines of research. Written by influential, highly respected experts, the contributions to this volume together furnish a state-of-the-art overview of what the conscious human mind does when it moves away from the mundane here-and-now." - Roy F. Baumeister, Eppes Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology, Florida State University, USA, and author of The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life

"Mental simulation has evolved into a core theoretical idea spanning nearly all of psychology. Informing basic analyses of representation, imagery, metacognition, goals, fantasy, and behavior, the study of mental simulation is newly invigorated by insights from cognitive neuroscience. In this timely collection of essays, these diverse theoretical strands come together to shed new light on the mysteries of the human imagination." - Neal Roese, Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois, USA, and author of If Only

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