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Future Thinking Research Group

This research group is led by Dr Jennifer Shevchenko (née Boland).

The future thinking research group combines expertise, knowledge, and research related to prospective cognition in a number of contexts.

Areas of interest include:

  • Mental time travel
  • Prospective thinking biases
  • Ways to improve prospective cognition
  • The Relationship between prospective cognition and psychological wellbeing/distress
  • Spontaneous future thinking
  • The nature and function of future-oriented emotions
  • Children’s and adults’ understanding of time
  • Future identity 

We have regular bi-monthly meetings where we discuss and present our research. Our group links in with the psychology seminar series, and we are all members of York St John Open Science journal club ReproducibiliTea.

Get in touch

We welcome all areas of research related to prospective cognition.

Research activity

Anderson, R. A., Clayton McClure, H. J, Boland, J., Howe, D., Riggs, K. J, & Dewhurst, S. A. (2023). The effect of dysphoria on positive emotional anticipation of goal achievement. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 14(1)

Anderson, R.J., Boland, J., & Garner, S.R. (2016). Overgeneral past and future thinking in dysphoria: The role of emotional cues and cueing methodology. Memory, 24, 708-719.

Anderson, R. J., Clayton McClure, J. H., Bishop, E., Howe, D., Riggs, K. J., & Dewhurst, S. A. (accepted). The implicit power of positive thinking: The effect of positive episodic simulation on implicit future expectancies. PLOS One.

Boland, J., Riggs, K., J., & Anderson, R. J. (2018). A brighter future: The effect of positive episodic simulation on future predictions in non-depressed, dysphoric & depressed individuals. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 100, 7-16.

Clayton McClure, J. H., Riggs, K. J., Dewhurst, S. A., & Anderson, R. J. (accepted). Differentiating anticipated and anticipatory emotions and their sensitivity to depressive symptoms. Emotion.

Clayton McClure, J. H., & Cole, S. N. (2022). Controllability is key: Goal pursuit during COVID-19 and insights for theories of self-regulation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 52(12), 1196– 1210.

Cole, S.N., Markostamou, I., Watson, L. A., Barzykowski, K., Ergen, I., Taylor, A. & Öner, S. (2022). Spontaneous past and future thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic across 14 countries: Effects of individual and country-level COVID-19 impact indicators. Journal of Applied Research on Memory and Cognition.

Cole, S. N & Kvavilashvili, L. (2021) . Spontaneous and deliberate future thinking: a dual process account. Psychological Research. Psychological Research, 85(2), 464-479. doi:

Cole, S. N. and Kvavilashvili, L. (2019) Spontaneous future cognition: The past, present and future of an emerging topic. Psychological Research, 83(4), 631-650. doi:

Cole, S. N. (2017). A timely dose of theory in future thinking research. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(2). doi: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1245347

Cole, S. N., Morrison, C., Barak, O., Pauly-Takacs, K., & Conway, M. A. (2016). Amnesia and Future Thinking: Exploring the Role of Memory in the Quantity and Quality of Episodic Future Thoughts. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55, 206-224. doi:  10.1111/bjc.12094

Cole, S. N. & Berntsen, D. (2016). Do Future Thoughts Reflect Personal Goals? Current Concerns and Mental Time Travel into the Past and Future. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69, 273-284. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1044542

Cole, S. N., Fotopoulou, A., Oddy, M., Moulin, C. J. A. (2014). Implausible Future Events in a Confabulating Patient with an Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurism. Neurocase, 20, 208-224.

Cole, S. N., Morrison, C. M. & Conway, M. A. (2013). Episodic Future Thinking: Linking Neuropsychological Performance and Episodic Detail in Young and Old Adults. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66, 1687-1706. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.758157

Cole, S. N., Gill, N., Conway, M. A., & Morrison, C. M. (2012). Mental Time Travel: Effects of Trial Duration on Episodic and Semantic Content. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, 2288-2296. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2012.758157

Conway, M. A., Loveday, C. & Cole, S. N. (2016). The Remembering-Imagining System. Memory Studies, 9, 256-265. doi: 10.1177/1750698016645231

Duffy, J., & Cole, S. N. (2021). Functions of spontaneous and voluntary future thinking: evidence from subjective ratings. Psychological Research, 85(4), 1583-1601. 

Duffy, J., Cole, S.N., Charura, D., Shevchenko, J. (2024). Depression and looming cognitive style: Examining the mediating effect of perceived control. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports. 15, 2666-9153. 

Hamilton, J. & Cole, S. N. (2017). Imagining possible selves across time: Characteristics of self-images and episodic thoughts. Consciousness & Cognition, 52, 9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.04.015

Lee, R., Shardlow, J., O’Connor, P.A., Hotson, L., Hotson, R., Hoerl, C. & McCormack, T. (2022). Past-future preferences for hedonic goods and the utility of experiential memories. Philosophical Psychology, 1-31, advance online publication.

Lee, R., Hoerl, C., Burns, P., O’Connor, P.A., Fernandes, A.S., & McCormack, T. (2020). Pain in the past and pleasure in the future: the development of past-future preferences for hedonic goods. Cognitive Science, 44(9), e12887.

Öner, S., Watsn, L. A., Adigüzel, Z., Ergen, I., Bilgin, E., Curci, A, Cole, S.N., ...Roediger, H, Szpunar, K. K., Tekin, E., Under, O. (2023). Collective remembering and future forecasting during the COVID-19 pandemic: How the impact of COVID-19 affected the themes and phenomenology of global and national memories across 15 countries. Mem Cogn 51, 729-751.

Shardlow, J., Lee, R., Hoerl, C., McCormack, T., Burns, P., & Fernandes, A. S. (2020). Exploring people’s beliefs about the experience of time. Synthese, 198, 1-23.

Shevchenko, J., Arnold, M., & Clayton McClure, J. H. (2024). No evidence of association between autism spectrum quotient and spontaneous mental time travel in a general adult sample performing an online vigilance task. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 38(1), e4147.

Group members

Dr Jennifer Boland

Dr Jennifer Shevchenko (née Boland)

Group leader

Scott Cole staff profile image

Dr Scott Cole

Associate Professor, Psychology

Staff profile image of Helgi Clayton-McClure

Dr Helgi Clayton-McClure


Ruth Lee profile image

Dr Ruth Lee

Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Professor Divine Charura

Professor Divine Charura

Professor of Counselling Psychology; Programme Director - Doctorate of Counselling Psychology

Staff profile image of Theo Jones

Theo Jones

Technical Specialist, Psychology

Eleanor Burton

Postgraduate Researcher

Jessica Duffy

Postgraduate Researcher

Lewis McQueen

Postgraduate Researcher

Ashleigh Van Zyl

Postgraduate Researcher