Love is the triumph of the imagination: daydreams about significant others are associated with increased happiness, love and connection

Poerio, Giulia L, Totterdell, Peter, Emerson, Lisa-Marie and Miles, Eleanor (2015) Love is the triumph of the imagination: daydreams about significant others are associated with increased happiness, love and connection. Consciousness and Cognition, 33. pp. 135-144. ISSN 1053-8100

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Abstract

Social relationships and interactions contribute to daily emotional well-being. The emotional benefits that come from engaging with others are known to arise from real events, but do they also come from the imagination during daydreaming activity? Using experience sampling methodology with 101 participants, we obtained 371 reports of naturally occurring daydreams with social and non-social content and self-reported feelings before and after daydreaming. Social, but not non-social, daydreams were associated with increased happiness, love and connection and this effect was not solely attributable to the emotional content of the daydreams. These effects were only present when participants were lacking in these feelings before daydreaming and when the daydream involved imagining others with whom the daydreamer had a high quality relationship. Findings are consistent with the idea that social daydreams may function to regulate emotion: imagining close others may serve the current emotional needs of daydreamers by increasing positive feelings towards themselves and others.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Eleanor Miles
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2017 04:43
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/52047

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