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Seeing the FutureTheoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel$
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Kourken Michaelian, Stanley B. Klein, and Karl K. Szpunar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190241537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.001.0001

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Making Decisions about the Future

Making Decisions about the Future

Regret and the Cognitive Function of Episodic Memory

Chapter:
(p.241) 12 Making Decisions about the Future
Source:
Seeing the Future
Author(s):

Christoph Hoerl

Teresa McCormack

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.003.0012

In the recent literature on episodic memory, there has been increasing recognition of the need to provide an account of its adaptive function. In this context, it is sometimes argued that episodic memory is critical for certain forms of decision-making about the future. The authors of this chapter criticize existing accounts that try to give episodic memory a role in decision-making, before providing a novel account of their own. This turns on the thought of a link between episodic memory and the emotion of regret. The authors discuss how both experienced and anticipated regret can have a distinctive influence on decision-making, and argue that the ability to recollect past events in episodic memory underpins the capacity to engage in the sophisticated types of mental time travel recruited in experiencing and anticipating regret.

Keywords:   episodic memory, decision-making, regret, mental time travel, future

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