On June 22, 2012, we had an exciting interview with Gabriele Oettingen, Ph.D., world expert on self-regulation, goal attainment, and mental contrasting

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Gabriele Oettingen is a Professor of Psychology at New York University in New York City. She is the author of almost 100 articles and chapters on goal setting, goal engagement and commitment, and self-regulatory processes that affect commitment and disengagement. She was educated in Germany and received her Ph.D. from the Ludwig-Maximillans-Universitat in Munich and Max-Planck-Institute for Behavioral Physiology, in Seewiesen.

Her major contribution to the field is research on using Mental Contrasting, a process that couples fantasies about future goals with realistic assessment of perceived present obstacles to reaching them. Gabriele's research suggests that Mental Contrasting can be very effective when chances of success are perceived to be high and can also help people disengage from their goals and replace them if they have little confidence that they can achieve them.

Gabriele's research relates to various areas in social and personality psychology, developmental and educational psychology, as well as health and clinical psychology. Her findings contribute to the burgeoning literature on coping mechanisms and managing stress. Since she also focuses on motivational issues and achievement, the business world has become increasingly interested in applications of her research.



Visit Gabriele's website.

View Gabriele's 2012 review article: See Oettingen, G. (2012). Future thought and behavior change. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology, 23, 1-63.

How rose-colored spectacles can interfere with your goals, in Scientific American

Gabriele's research in "The Week in Ideas" section of The Wall Street Journal.

Gabriele's work in The Washington Post

Inside Business on Gabriele's research about having too much optimism.

Summary of Gabriele's research findings on PsyBlog.


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