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Social representations of the future of humanity

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dc.contributor.author Lawrence, Belinda Jane
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-29T03:09:00Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-30T20:08:54Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-29T03:09:00Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-30T20:08:54Z
dc.date.copyright 2002
dc.date.issued 2002
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/26082
dc.description.abstract The study of motivation and action has almost always been conducted in the socio-historical context of the present, concerned with immediate beliefs, intentions and effects. The theory of Possible Selves (Markus & Nurius, 1986) suggests that hopes and fears for the representational self one might become in the future are also key aspects of motivation in the present. It is suggested that such a theory could be considered in a more global sense, whereby hopes and fears for what humanity might be become are represented in possible 'global' future selves. The theory of social representations (Moscovici, 1988) is posited as the tool through which to consider such future representations of humanity. A mixed-method approach utilising both qualitative and quantitative methodologies was used. A literature review of science-fiction books and movies was undertaken, and showed several historical event-related themes of possible futures. Building upon this, a qualitative pilot study explored descriptions of possible futures given by an internet sample (n=79). The prevailing future representations from the pilot study were used to create vignettes that a student sample (n=150), and a general population sample (n=250) responded to. The two groups were required to indicate the degree to which they thought about their own personal future, and the future of humanity. Participants were also required to rate their agreement or disagreement with the vignettes, rank the possible futures in order of importance, and rate the likelihood of the possible futures occurring within the next 200 years. It was found that participants were quite negative in their description of potential future events, and in their ratings of the positivity or negativity of the vignette possible future events. The study of social representations of the future was expounded as a tool for anticipating potential issues of concern, and for identifying issues of global importance. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Social representations of the future of humanity en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Psychology en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ

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