Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The implicit power of positive thinking: The effect of positive episodic simulation on implicit future expectancies

Anderson, Rachel J; Clayton McClure, J Helgi; Bishop, Emma; Howe, David; Riggs, Kevin J; Dewhurst, Stephen A


J Helgi Clayton McClure

Emma Bishop

David Howe


Previous research demonstrating that positive episodic simulation enhances future expectancies has relied on explicit expectancy measures. The current study investigated the effects of episodic simulation on implicit expectancies. Using the Future Thinking Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (FT-IRAP), participants made true/false decisions to indicate whether or not they expected positive/negative outcomes after adopting orientations consistent or inconsistent with an optimistic disposition. The outcome measure, DIRAP, was based on response time differences between consistent and inconsistent blocks. Participants then engaged in either positive simulation training, in which they imagined positive future events, or a neutral visualisation task before repeating the FT-IRAP twice following 10-minute intervals. Positive simulation training increased DIRAP scores for don’t-expect-negative trials – boosting participants’ readiness to affirm that negative events were unlikely to happen to them. Although findings did not generalise across all trial types, they show potential for positive simulation training to enhance implicit future expectancies.


Anderson, R. J., Clayton McClure, J. H., Bishop, E., Howe, D., Riggs, K. J., & Dewhurst, S. A. (2024). The implicit power of positive thinking: The effect of positive episodic simulation on implicit future expectancies. PLoS ONE, 19(4), Article e0298817.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 30, 2024
Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2024
Publication Date Apr 30, 2024
Deposit Date Feb 29, 2024
Publicly Available Date May 1, 2024
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Article Number e0298817
Public URL


Published article (1 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2024 Anderson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations