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Neuropsychology 2016 American Psychological Association

2016, Vol. 30, No. 8, 887905 0894-4105/16/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000274

A Critical Evaluation of the Validity of Episodic Future Thinking:


A Clinical Neuropsychology Perspective
Amanda M. Ward
University of Iowa

Objective: Episodic future thinking is defined as the ability to mentally simulate a future event. Although
episodic future thinking has been studied extensively in neuroscience, this construct has not been
explored in depth from the perspective of clinical neuropsychology. The aim of this critical narrative
review is to assess the validity and clinical implications of episodic future thinking. Method: A
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systematic review of episodic future thinking literature was conducted. PubMed and PsycInfo were
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searched through July 2015 for review and empirical articles with the following search terms: episodic
future thinking, future mental simulation, imagining the future, imagining new experiences,
future mental time travel, future autobiographical experience, and prospection. Results: The
review discusses evidence that episodic future thinking is important for adaptive functioning, which has
implications for neurological populations. To determine the validity of episodic future thinking, the
construct is evaluated with respect to related constructs, such as imagination, episodic memory, autobi-
ographical memory, prospective memory, narrative construction, and working memory. Although it has
been minimally investigated, there is evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for episodic future
thinking. Research has not addressed the incremental validity of episodic future thinking. Practical
considerations of episodic future thinking tasks and related constructs in a clinical neuropsychological
setting are considered. Conclusions: The utility of episodic future thinking is currently unknown due to
the lack of research investigating the validity of episodic future thinking. Future work is discussed, which
could determine whether episodic future thinking is an important missing piece in standard clinical
neuropsychological assessment.

Keywords: episodic future thinking, convergent validity, discriminant validity, clinical neuropsychology

Episodic future thinking is a frequent human mental activity that processes of episodic future thinking, and neurological populations
has important implications for behavior. Neuropsychologists at- with deficits in future thinking.
tempt to measure important areas of cognition that influence
real-world behaviors. One area of cognition that may not be Core Neural Network and Cognitive Processes of
assessed is episodic future thinking. Episodic future thinking Episodic Future Thinking
refers to the ability to mentally project oneself into the future
(Atance & ONeill, 2001). Others have defined this term as mental Based on functional and structural imaging studies, a core
time travel (Wheeler, Stuss, & Tulving, 1997), prospection (Buck- network of brain regions has been found to be involved while
ner & Carroll, 2007), and episodic simulation (Schacter & Addis, thinking in the future (for review, see Addis, Pan, Vu, Laiser, &
2007a), among other terms. Episodic future thinking tasks involve Schacter, 2009; Addis & Schacter, 2011; Buckner, 2010; Buckner
a description of a future event in response to a question, cue word & Carroll, 2007; Hassabis & Maguire, 2009; Irish & Piguet, 2013;
or a sentence describing a specific context in which the future Schacter & Addis, 2007a; Schacter & Addis, 2007b; Schacter,
event occurs. Healthy individuals are able to prelive the future Addis, & Buckner, 2007; Schacter, Addis, & Buckner, 2008;
event and provide coherent details regarding the time and place Schacter et al., 2012; Szpunar, 2010; Verfaellie, Race, & Keane,
the event occurred, people or things present at the event, sensory 2012; Zheng, Luo, & Yu, 2014). The core neural network of
experiences during the event, and emotions or thoughts that came episodic future thinking includes the medial temporal lobe (includ-
up during the event. Neuroscience research has investigated the ing the parahippocampus and hippocampus), the medial prefrontal
core neural network of episodic future thinking, the cognitive cortex, the posterior cingulate cortex, the retrosplenial cortex,
anterior and lateral temporal lobe, precuneus, and posterior parietal
lobe. These studies used tasks similar to the adapted Autobio-
graphical Interview (AI) and the scene construction task. Appendix
A discusses further evidence of the overlap of thinking in the past
This article was published Online First February 22, 2016.
and the future, as supported by research evaluating the default
I thank Dr. Daniel Tranel, Dr. Melissa Duff, Dr. Teresa Treat, Dr. Molly
Nikolas, and Dr. Kristian Markon for their valuable comments and
mode network.
thoughtful critiques. The cognitive processes of episodic future thinking were iden-
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Amanda tified through neuroimaging studies, studies with neurological
M. Ward, Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, E11 Seashore patients, and behavioral investigations (for review, see Addis, Pan,
Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: amanda-m-ward@uiowa.edu et al. (2009); Addis and Schacter (2011); Buckner (2010); Buckner

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and Carroll (2007); Hassabis and Maguire (2009); Irish and Piguet Morrison, & Conway, 2013; De Beni et al., 2013; Gaesser, Sac-
(2013); Klein (2013); Schacter and Addis (2007a); Schacter and chetti, Addis, & Schacter, 2011; Gallo, Korthauer, McDonough,
Addis (2007b); Schacter et al. (2007); Schacter et al. (2008); Teshale, & Johnson, 2011; Madore, Gaesser, & Schacter, 2014;
Schacter et al. (2012); Szpunar (2010); Tulving (1985), and Madore & Schacter, 2014; Rendell et al., 2012; Schacter, Gaesser,
Wheeler et al. (1997)). The five main cognitive processes involved & Addis, 2013). Based on this evidence, episodic future thinking
in episodic future thinking include episodic memory, semantic deficits are present within neurological populations. Appendix B
memory, executive functioning, self-referential processing, and describes how future thinking has been investigated in psychiatric
imagery. Though these studies did not consider the implications of populations using the Future Thinking Task (MacLeod & Byrne,
episodic future thinking for clinical neuropsychology, compre- 1996; MacLeod, Rose, & Williams, 1993; Moore, MacLeod,
hending the cognitive mechanisms underlying episodic future Barnes, & Langdon, 2006). Results from investigations of neuro-
thinking performance could help explain episodic future thinking logical populations are consistent with expectations stemming
deficits in neurological populations. from the findings of the core neural network and cognitive pro-
There are several ways the cognitive and neural processes of cesses of episodic future thinking.
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episodic future thinking have been conceptualized (Buckner &


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Carroll, 2007; Hassabis & Maguire, 2009; Schacter & Addis,


The Current Review
2007a). Ingvar (1985) and Tulving (1972, 1983, 1985, 2002)
specified the importance of the episodic memory system for men- The aim of this critical narrative review is to assess the validity
tal time travel into both the past and the future. Several theories and implications for clinical neuropsychology of an important
have since supported this idea. Schacter and Addis (2007a) devel- aspect of cognition that may be missing from current neuropsy-
oped the constructive episodic simulation hypothesis, which states chological assessments. The five goals of this review are to (a)
that the episodic memory system allows one to retrieve and re- present and critique the research tasks used to assess episodic
combine details into a future episodic simulation. Buckner and future thinking; (b) synthesize and critique the correlates and
Carroll (2007) suggest that the core neural network of episodic implications of episodic future thinking for clinical neuropsychol-
future thinking is also important for other types of simulation, such ogy; (c) apply clinically relevant approaches, including conver-
as memory, navigation, and theory of mind processes. Hassabis gent, discriminant, and incremental validity, to assess the construct
and Maguire (2007, 2009) proposed the theory of scene construc- validity of episodic future thinking; (d) discuss the practical mat-
tion, suggesting that the ability to simulate the past and future is ters relevant to the clinical assessment of episodic future thinking
possible due to the mental creation of a scene. Episodic future and similar constructs; and (e) identify future research that is
thinking has an extensive history within neuroscience research, needed to determine if episodic future thinking is worthwhile to
however the current review will directly assess this construct from include in a clinical neuropsychological setting.
the perspective of clinical neuropsychology. A systematic review of the literature bearing on this question is
important because an area of cognition may not be tapped in
standard neuropsychological assessment. This potential gap may
Future Thinking Impairments in Neurological Disease
have important implications for neurological populations who
Episodic future thinking has been found to be impaired in many have deficits in episodic future thinking due to its connection to
neurological populations, including patients with Alzheimers dis- adaptive functioning. A critical responsibility of neuropsycholo-
ease (Addis, Sacchetti, Ally, Budson, & Schacter 2009; El Haj, gists is to connect research and practice, which has not been
Antoine, & Kapogiannis, 2015; Irish et al., 2012a; Irish, Addis, applied to episodic future thinking.
Hodges, & Piguet, 2012b; Irish, Hodges, & Piguet, 2013), seman-
tic dementia (Irish et al., 2012a; Irish et al., 2012b; Viard et al.,
Search Strategy
2014), mild cognitive impairment (Gamboz et al., 2010), amnesia
(Andelman, Hoofien, Goldberg, Aizenstein, & Neufeld, 2010; PubMed and PsychInfo were searched through July 2015 using
Hassabis, Kumaran, Vann, & Maguire, 2007; Klein, Loftus, & the following terms: episodic future thinking, future mental sim-
Kihlstrom, 2002; Kurczek et al., 2015; Race, Keane, & Verfaellie, ulation, imagining the future, imagining new experiences, fu-
2011; Rosenbaum et al., 2005; Zeman, Beschin, Dewar, & Della ture mental time travel, future autobiographical experience, and
Sala, 2013), left temporal resection (Manning, Denkova, & Unter- prospection. Empirical and review articles were included if they
berger, 2013), fronto-temporal dementia (FTD; Irish, Hodges, et addressed episodic future thinking tasks in a healthy older adult
al., 2013), Parkinsons disease (De Vito et al., 2012), prefrontal population or adult neurological populations.
cortex damage (Berryhill, Picasso, Arnold, Drowos, & Olson, Episodic future thinking has been investigated in relation to
2010; Kurczek et al., 2015), posterior parietal cortex damage many constructs within the neuroscientific literature. Articles were
(Berryhill et al., 2010), thalamic damage (Weiler, Suchan, Koch, included in the convergent and discriminant validity section if they
Schwarz, & Daum, 2011), multiple sclerosis (Ernst et al., 2014), addressed episodic future thinking with respect to the following
transient global amnesia (Juskenaite et al., 2014), and traumatic variables: imagination, episodic memory, autobiographical mem-
brain injury (Rasmussen & Berntsen, 2014). One study did not find ory, prospective memory, narrative construction, and working mem-
episodic future thinking impairments in patients with amnesia, and ory. The constructs were chosen based on the neurocognitive mech-
these findings may be due to testing patients with mild amnesia anisms of episodic future thinking and these constructs are commonly
(Squire et al., 2010). Older adults also have episodic future think- addressed and theoretically related to episodic future thinking. Arti-
ing deficits when compared to young adults (Addis, Musicaro, cles were excluded if they addressed episodic future thinking in
Pan, & Schacter, 2010; Addis, Wong, & Schacter, 2008; Cole, psychological or neurodevelopmental populations.
VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 889

Less stringent criteria was applied to reviewing the relationship included is rated on a Likert scale. Examples of this approach can
between episodic future thinking and adaptive functioning. Em- be found in a number of studies (El Haj et al., 2015; Gallo et al.,
pirical and review articles were included if they examined adaptive 2011; Manning et al., 2013; Viard et al., 2011; Viard et al., 2014).
functioning of episodic future thinking across any adult population It is possible that these tasks measure similar content to the
because this area has been minimally addressed in the literature. A adapted AI task and the scene construction task, but it has not been
similar approach was included in the incremental validity section, tested. Throughout the article, they will be referred to as tasks
described further in that section. Based on these criteria, 1,723 with alternate scoring methods.
articles were found and they were narrowed down to 56 articles There are also tasks developed to measure the ability to produce
based on the inclusion criteria. Lezak, Howieson, Bigler, and personal future events or public future issues or events. The Lived
Tranel (2012) and Grant and Adams (2009) were used to reference Future Questionnaire is scored based on the production of plausi-
tasks used in neuropsychological assessment. ble and personal future events (Klein et al., 2002). The Known
Future Questionnaire is scored based on the production of plausi-
ble and public future issues or events (Klein et al., 2002). These
Current Episodic Future Thinking Tasks
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questionnaires tend to be given in conjunction with one another.


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It is important to consider the measurement tools used to assess Overall, current episodic future thinking measures assess epi-
episodic future thinking in research settings. Tasks used to mea- sodic details and semantic details (see Table 1). There is evidence
sure episodic future thinking have overlap and are distinct in terms to suggest that each component may be valuable to clinical neu-
of the content they assess. Content validity is defined as the extent ropsychological assessment. However, episodic details and seman-
to which the items on a test are actual samples of the construct tic details are assessed differently across tasks. The components
being measured (Hebben & Milberg, 2009, p. 144). The follow- that provide the most useful information to clinical neuropsycholo-
ings tasks that have been used to measure future thinking in gists should be identified because a task needs to be as brief and
neurological populations will be briefly reviewed in terms of their efficient as possible.
task structure and content: the adapted AI, the scene construction Most research on episodic future thinking in neurological pop-
task, the Lived Future Questionnaire, the Known Future Question- ulations has concentrated on the assessment of episodic details.
naire, and tasks that use Likert scales to measure details included Many studies support the role of episodic details in future thinking,
in future descriptions. Afterward, the content covered by these because many patients with neurological disease have deficits in
tasks will be critiqued for clinical neuropsychological purposes. their episodic details (Addis, Sacchetti, et al., 2009; Berryhill et al.,
In the adapted AI task (Addis & Schacter, 2008), participants 2010; De Vito et al., 2012; Hassabis et al., 2007; Irish et al., 2012a;
are instructed to describe specific, reasonable events in as much Irish et al., 2012b; Irish, Hodges, et al., 2013; Race et al., 2011;
detail as possible in response to cue words. Event descriptions are Weiler et al., 2011; Zeman et al., 2013). Episodic details are
transcribed and internal and external details are identified (Levine, consistently measured across tasks, but they are assessed in dif-
Svoboda, Hay, Winocur, & Moscovitch, 2002). Internal details are ferent ways. The Lived Future Questionnaire measures the pro-
categorized into the following: event, place, time, perceptual, or duction of personal and specific events in the future, while in the
thought/emotion. External details are categorized into the follow- adapted AI task and scene construction task measure the amount
ing: semantic details, extended events (defined as events not tied to and type of episodic details in a future event description. The scene
a specific time or place), repetitions, or other details (defined as construction task, the adapted AI task, and tasks with alternate
details not related to the central event). For further details on the scoring criteria have the most evidence of identifying impairment
adapted AI task, reference Addis and Schacter (2008). The content in neurological populations, but the Lived Future Questionnaire
assessed by the adapted AI task includes episodic and semantic has been used less frequently. It is not clear which manner of
details. assessing future episodic details provides more information in a
Another method used to investigate episodic future thinking is clinical neuropsychological setting.
through the scene construction task (for more details on the scene Semantic details may be an important component to engaging in
construction task, reference Hassabis et al., 2007). Participants are episodic future thinking. Irish, Hodges, et al. (2013) showed that
instructed to describe events in as much detail as possible in patients with FTD provide less semantic details in future descrip-
response to imagination cues (such as imagining oneself on a white tions. Furthermore, healthy elderly (Madore & Schacter, 2014),
beach), and future thinking cues (such as an upcoming holiday). patients with mild cognitive impairment (Gamboz et al., 2010),
Participants rate their sense of presence, sense of salience, diffi- and patients with Parkinsons disease (De Vito et al., 2012) pro-
culty of the task, similarity of their description to memories, and
the spatial coherence of their descriptions. Researchers provide
each description with a content score (based on the inclusion of Table 1
spatial references, entities present, sensory description, and thoughts/ Content Assessed by Episodic Future Thinking Tasks
emotion/actions) and quality judgment (based on the vividness of
the event description on a Likert scale). The event descriptions are Episodic future thinking tasks Content assessed by task
given an overall score using the Experiential Index, which includes
Adapted Autobiographical Interview Episodic details and semantic
the content score, ratings of presence and salience, the spatial details
coherence index, and quality judgment. In terms of its content, the Scene Construction Task Episodic details
scene construction task assesses episodic details included in future Tasks with alternate scoring methods Episodic details
event descriptions. There are also tasks similar to the adapted AI Lived Future Questionnaire Episodic details
Known Future Questionnaire Semantic details
task and scene construction task, but the amount of episodic detail
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vide more external details, potentially compensating for impaired the utility of episodic future thinking as an indicator of specific
internal details. Researchers have argued semantic details provide neural dysfunction or to diagnose a specific neurological disorder.
the scaffolding necessary to sufficiently include episodic details Episodic future thinking engages a large neural network, and
(Irish & Piguet, 2013). The adapted AI task measures semantic impairments in episodic future thinking may not indicate whether
details, but it is not separately examined because it is included one specific neural region is affected. Also, as discussed previ-
under the domain of external details, which also includes repe- ously, episodic future thinking has been shown to be impaired in
titions and off-topic speech. The Known Future Questionnaire a wide range of varied neurological conditions (Irish & Piolino,
assesses semantic details differently by measuring the production 2015).
of plausible and nonpersonal issues or events in the future. It is not Few studies have directly compared neurological populations on
clear which method provides more valuable information. The episodic future thinking and the findings are mixed and uncon-
scene construction task and tasks with alternate scoring methods vincing in terms of their diagnostic utility. Two studies found
may be missing an important component of future thinking be- evidence of differences between groups. Irish, Hodges, et al.
cause they do not assess semantic details. (2013) found that patients with FTD had impairments in internal
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Some researchers argue that consciousness should be assessed and external details, while patients with Alzheimers disease only
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separately from episodic or semantic memory (Klein, 2015). Two had impairments for internal details. Kurczek and colleagues
types of consciousness are autonoetic consciousness, which is (2015) found that patients with bilateral hippocampal damage had
defined as awareness of subjective time (Tulving, 1985), and impaired internal details, while patients with bilateral medial pre-
noetic consciousness, which allows an organism to be aware of, frontal cortex damage did not have impairments in episodic future
and to cognitively operate on, objects and events (Tulving, 1985, thinking performance. While the two groups in Kurczek et al.
p. 3) and involves engaging in temporal processing without sub- (2015) were not directly compared, the authors suggest that the
jectively reliving. Past research has suggested that autonoetic hippocampus is a critical neural region for episodic future think-
consciousness occurs during episodic memory, and noetic con- ing. Two studies have not found evidence for differences between
sciousness occurs during semantic memory (Tulving, 1985). In neurological populations. Specifically, patients with semantic de-
recent work by Klein (2015), he argues that consciousness during mentia and patients with Alzheimers disease had similar episodic
temporal processing is a separate construct from memory. Klein future thinking performance (Irish et al., 2012a, 2012b). Berryhill
(2015) suggests that autonoetic consciousness may be the key et al. (2010) found that patients with posterior parietal cortex
component that allows individuals to project themselves into the damage and prefrontal cortex damage both had similar impairment
future rather than episodic memory. in the inclusion of episodic details.
Some studies measure autonoetic and noetic consciousness with While it is clear that there is no convincing evidence of diag-
one question by asking the participants if they were able to nostic specificity based on current research, it is difficult to make
preexperience the future event (El Haj et al., 2015) or they rated conclusions across the literature. First of all, studies commonly do
their experience based on a scale from noetic consciousness to not provide the data necessary to calculate effect sizes for perfor-
autonoetic consciousness (Viard et al., 2011). More extensive mance solely in the future. Having access to the effect sizes across
measures of autoneotic and noetic consciousness should be devel- studies would provide information regarding whether the overall
oped to clarify if it is a unique and important construct separate differences between neurological populations are meaningful. Cur-
from episodic or semantic details. rent studies have small sample sizes, and it is possible there are
Future research could investigate which content of episodic practical differences between groups despite the lack of statistical
future thinking tasks are most informative in a clinical neuropsy- differences. Furthermore, it is also difficult to compare perfor-
chological setting. The information episodic future thinking could mance on episodic future thinking tasks across studies because
provide to clinical neuropsychological assessment will be consid- research has not thoroughly investigated whether there is conver-
ered. gence between episodic future thinking tasks. Episodic future
thinking performance in neurological populations could be more
Correlates and Implications of Episodic Future accurately synthesized and evaluated if future research provides
Thinking for Clinical Neuropsychology data for effect sizes and addresses convergence between episodic
future thinking tasks.
This section addresses the potential the evidence surrounding
the utility of episodic future thinking in a clinical neuropsycho- Predictive Validity of Episodic Future Thinking:
logical setting. As discussed by Lezak et al. (2012), neuropsycho- Adaptive Functioning
logical assessment is used to aid in diagnosis, patient care, and
treatment. Evidence that has addressed the diagnostic utility of Episodic future thinking could provide information to neuropsy-
episodic future thinking will be reviewed. Next, the utility of chologists about patient care and treatment surrounding adaptive
episodic future thinking for patient care and treatment will be functioning abilities. Adaptive behavior is defined as the collec-
addressed by reviewing the predictive validity of episodic future tion of conceptual, social, and practical skills that have been
thinking with respect to adaptive functioning. learned and are performed by people in their everyday lives
(Schalock et al., 2010, p. 43). The predictive validity of episodic
future thinking is important to consider because there are many
Episodic Future Thinking for Diagnostic Purposes
neurological populations with deficits in episodic future thinking.
Neuropsychologists are especially interested in constructs that Episodic future thinking has been found to have predictive validity
may have diagnostic value. Currently, evidence does not support with respect to four subtypes of adaptive functioning: decision-
VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 891

making (Benoit, Gilbert, & Burgess, 2011; Lin & Epstein, 2014; and its connection to adaptive functioning was explored in healthy
Liu, Feng, Chen, & Li, 2013; Palombo, Keane, & Verfaellie, 2015; young adults, older adults, and patients with damage to their
Peters & Bchel, 2010), goal processing (Taylor, Pham, Rivkin, & medial temporal lobe. It would be important to expand this re-
Armor, 1998), problem solving (Madore & Schacter, 2014), and search to patients with primary damage outside of the medial
coping (Taylor & Schneider, 1989; Taylor et al., 1998). These temporal because the details included in their future event descrip-
studies were conducted in healthy adults, besides Palombo et al. tions or neural damage could influence adaptive functioning. Fu-
(2015) who studied amnesic patients. Decision-making, goal pro- ture studies could determine if episodic future thinking is related to
cessing, problem solving and coping are all relevant to recommen- adaptive functioning across neurological populations.
dations given by clinical neuropsychologists. Thus, the evidence Another potential cause to inconsistencies in the adaptive func-
suggests that episodic future thinking may have some clinical tioning literature may be due to whether a future event simulation
utility. Research on the relationship between adaptive functioning is personally relevant. Kwan et al. (2015) stated that inconsisten-
and episodic future thinking has been included in reviews by Addis cies in findings between their study and Palombo et al. (2015) may
and Schacter (2011); Atance and ONeill (2001); Boyer (2008); depend on whether participants were required to imagine a per-
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

Schacter (2012); Schacter et al. (2012), and Szpunar (2010).


sonally relevant scenario. While this may be the cause of differ-
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While episodic future thinking has been connected to adaptive


ences in findings between Kwan et al. (2015) and Palombo et al.
functioning, there are inconsistencies in findings. Some research
(2015), whether or not the future event is personally relevant does
suggests that amnesic patients do not show decreased temporal
not seem to be a consistent factor influencing the connection
discounting after episodic future thinking due to their impaired
between episodic future thinking and adaptive functioning overall.
episodic future thinking (Palombo et al., 2015), while other re-
For example, studies have found overlap between episodic future
search has found intact decision-making despite impaired episodic
future thinking in patients with amnesia (Kwan, Craver, Green, thinking and decision-making, even though some of these studies
Myerson, Boyer, et al., 2012; Kwan, Craver, Green, Myerson, & used a personally relevant future scenario (Lin & Epstein, 2014;
Rosenbaum, 2013; Kwan et al., 2015). One factor that may have Peters & Bchel, 2010), while others did not (Benoit et al., 2011;
caused inconsistencies is the component processes involved during Palombo et al., 2015). Future research could investigate the role of
episodic future thinking. Kwan et al. (2015) speculated that some personal relevance in the connection between episodic future
patients with medial temporal lobe damage may be able to effec- thinking and adaptive functioning.
tively engage in semantic prospection despite deficits in episodic
prospection. Semantic prospection is defined as mental simulation
Summary
of future facts and general conceptual knowledge (Race et al.,
2013). In the adaptive functioning literature, Madore and Schacter Overall, there is some evidence to suggest episodic future
(2014) are the only ones to directly examine the components of thinking is associated with adaptive functioning. However,
episodic future thinking and how they relate to adaptive function- there are important factors that may influence this connection,
ing. Madore and Schacter (2014) found that in older adults internal including the components measured in the episodic future
details were positively associated with problem solving, but exter- thinking task, the neurological population tested, and whether
nal details were not associated with problem solving. This finding the future scenario was personally relevant. Future research
needs to be replicated, because half of the participants in this study could examine performance between episodic future thinking
engaged in a specificity induction to improve episodic future and adaptive functioning using the established tasks (adapted
thinking and problem solving performance, which could have AI, scene construction task, Lived Future Questionnaire,
altered the results. Based on this study, episodic details during Known Future Questionnaire, and tasks with alternate scoring
episodic future thinking are associated with adaptive functioning.
methods) because many of the current studies did not system-
Overall, it is not clear which components of episodic future think-
atically measure episodic future thinking, but rather had partic-
ing best predict adaptive functioning.
ipants engage in episodic future thinking before an adaptive
Future research could address the relationship between specific
functioning task.
components of episodic future thinking and adaptive functioning,
It goes without saying that clinical neuropsychology would
such as episodic details, semantic details, and consciousness. Al-
benefit from having better predictors of adaptive functioning.
though it has been minimally studied, this is especially critical due
to the connection found between episodic details and adaptive Currently, adaptive functioning information is often collected from
functioning, as well as the recent discussion about the connection patients and family members. These reports can be problematic
between semantic prospection and adaptive functioning. This is a due to problems with insight in patients with neurological disease,
key area to address because patients with mild cognitive impair- collateral reports that are not always reliable or valid (e.g., when
ment (Gamboz et al., 2010), patients with Parkinsons disease (De collaterals have little regular contact with the patient), reluctance
Vito et al., 2012), and older adults (Madore & Schacter, 2014) to report day-to-day problems because of concerns that this will
compensate for their deficits in episodic details by providing more lead to major life changing recommendations (e.g., moving a
semantic details and it is unclear if the inclusion of these semantic patient to assisted living), and the like. If episodic future thinking
details aids in adaptive functioning. This research would clarify does indeed prove to yield a reliable and valid prediction of
which components of episodic future thinking should be included adaptive functioning, a next area of research could examine
in a clinical neuropsychological task. whether episodic future thinking predicts future decline of adap-
A second factor that could have caused inconsistencies in find- tive functioning. This prediction could help patients and family
ings is the neurological population tested. Episodic future thinking members with planning for future decline.
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Validity of Episodic Future Thinking adapted AI task, the scene construction task, tasks that use alter-
and Related Constructs nate scoring methods, and the Lived Future Questionnaire because
they all measure episodic details. Less convergence would be
Another avenue that will help determine the utility of episodic expected between episodic future thinking tasks measuring epi-
future thinking in clinical neuropsychology is to investigate the sodic details and the Known Future Questionnaire because it only
validity of episodic future thinking. It is currently unclear whether measures semantic details. Less convergence would also be ex-
episodic future thinking is already captured within standard neu- pected between the Lived Future Questionnaire and the Known
ropsychological assessment, or by other constructs examined Future Questionnaire because they measure different components
within a research setting. This review will help determine the of episodic future thinking.
extent to which its measurement is sufficiently covered with cur- First, the convergent validity will be addressed between the
rent research and clinical neuropsychological assessment practices adapted AI task (Addis & Schacter, 2008) and the scene construc-
in neuropsychology. If related constructs overlap substantially tion task (Hassabis et al., 2007). No study to date has correlated
with episodic future thinking, or far better predict adaptive func- performance on these two tasks. Squire et al. (2010) conducted the
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tioning, then episodic future thinking may not provide utility in adapted AI task and scored the event descriptions using both the
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clinical neuropsychological assessment. adapted AI and scene construction scoring criteria in patients with
This section addresses the construct validity of episodic future amnesia. Squire et al. (2010) found similar results using both
thinking by examining the convergent and discriminant validity of methods, which provides some evidence that these tasks may be
episodic future thinking tasks. Construct validity is the extent to correlated. Hurley et al. (2011) speculated about possible measure-
which episodic future thinking tasks measure episodic future ment differences with each task based on memory research by
thinking. First, it is important to establish convergent validity of Conway, Pleydell-Pearce, and Whitecross (2001). Hurley et al.
episodic future thinking tasks because they were developed to (2011) suggested that the scene construction task may provide
measure the same construct. Second, it is essential to evaluate the participants with more information with a sentence cue so they
convergent validity of episodic future thinking because episodic only have to elaborate on a constructed event. On the other hand,
future thinking is closely related theoretically to several other the adapted AI tasks word cue may require both construction of an
constructs, such as imagination and various subtypes of memory. event and elaboration of that event. Currently, evidence of con-
At least moderate convergence is expected between episodic future vergent validity is mixed for the relationship between the adapted
thinking and theoretically similar constructs. Discriminant validity AI task and the scene construction task.
of episodic future thinking will be addressed with respect to There is some evidence on the convergent validity for the tasks
working memory and narrative construction. The incremental va- with alternate scoring methods, the Lived Future Questionnaire,
lidity of episodic future thinking is considered. The main criterion and the Known Future Questionnaire. Manning et al. (2013) found
of interest for incremental validity is adaptive functioning, which convergence in a patient with left temporal resection between the
allows humans to set goals, make advantageous decisions, problem Lived Future Questionnaire and a task with alternate scoring
solve, and cope. If episodic future thinking provides incremental methods, but did not find convergence between the Known Future
validity with respect to theoretically similar constructs, it may be Questionnaire and a task with alternate scoring methods. Two
helpful to clinical neuropsychological assessment. studies that tested patients with amnesia (Andelman et al., 2010;
Thus, the adapted AI task, the scene construction task, the Lived Klein et al., 2002) and a study that tested a patient with a left
Future Questionnaire, the Known Future Questionnaire, and tasks temporal resection (Manning et al., 2013) did not find convergence
with alternate scoring methods are considered below. When cor- between the Known Future Questionnaire and the Lived Future
relations are reported below, it is noted what was measured with Questionnaire. Irish et al. (2012a) found convergence between
the episodic future thinking task, such as episodic details (as internal details of the adapted AI task and the Known Future
measured by the scene construction task, the Lived Future Ques- Questionnaire in patients with semantic dementia (r .76; p
tionnaire or tasks with alternate scoring criteria), internal details .005), but not in patients with Alzheimers disease (r .24; p
(as measured by the adapted AI task), semantic details (as mea- .05) or controls (r .44; p .05). Overall, these findings support
sured by the Known Future Questionnaire), or external details (as the theoretical descriptions of these tasks because the Known
measured by the adapted AI task). Correlations were rounded to Future Questionnaire measures unique aspects of episodic future
the second decimal place to be consistent throughout the article. thinking (semantic details), whereas the rest of the episodic future
Most of the studies included below to address convergence and thinking tasks include episodic details in their assessment of epi-
divergence between episodic future thinking and related con- sodic future thinking.
structs assessed episodic future thinking with the adapted AI Minimal studies have addressed the convergence between epi-
task and the scene construction task, because these tasks have sodic future thinking tasks. Future work should further evaluate the
been used most frequently in neuropsychological populations. correlation between episodic future thinking tasks to determine if
After presenting evidence addressing the validity of episodic they converge, which would suggest they are measuring overlap-
future thinking, critique and limitations of this literature will be ping constructs. In summary, it is unclear whether there is con-
addressed. vergence between the episodic future thinking tasks.
Convergent validity with respect to imagination. Convergent
validity must be examined between episodic future thinking and
Convergent Validity of Episodic Future Thinking
theoretically similar constructs. A construct that is theoretically
Convergent validity is considered between episodic future similar to episodic future thinking is imagination. Imagination (or
thinking tasks. Strong convergence would be expected between the scene construction) is defined as mental construction of a co-
VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 893

herent scene (Hassabis & Maguire, 2009). As discussed previ- thinking task. This is understandable given many researchers focus
ously, imagination is measured through the scene construction on the role of the medial temporal lobe in episodic future thinking
task, which involves the presentation of an event cue consisting of (Addis & Schacter, 2011). Thus, the convergent validity of epi-
a commonplace scenario (Hassabis et al., 2007). The participant is sodic future thinking will be assessed with respect to several types
instructed to provide as much detail as possible for this imaginary of memory: standard neuropsychological assessments of episodic
event and to not base it on a plausible experience that has occurred memory, autobiographical memory, and prospective memory. In-
or could occur in the future. The task is scored based on the vestigation of the convergent validity with respect to memory is
inclusion of vivid details (Hassabis et al., 2007). Episodic future critical to determine if adding episodic future thinking to clinical
thinking is similar to imagination in that they both require construc- neuropsychological assessment would be worthwhile.
tion of a coherent scene and involve self-referential thinking. Episodic Convergent validity with respect to standard neuropsycholog-
future thinking differs from imagination because the event is placed in ical assessments of episodic memory. One construct that is the-
a temporal context, the event is plausible, and the event is personally oretically similar to episodic future thinking is episodic memory,
relevant. Because these constructs are theoretically related, we would defined as memory of subjective events tied to a specific time and
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

expect at least moderate convergence between episodic future think- place (Tulving, 1972; Tulving, 1983; Tulving, 2002). Episodic
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

ing and imagination. future thinking and episodic memory are theoretically related
In order to establish convergent validity, episodic future think- because both involve the mental construction of an event tied to a
ing must positively correlate with imagination. Based on current specific time and place. Episodic future thinking differs theoreti-
research, episodic future thinking has not been correlated with cally from episodic memory tasks included in neuropsychological
imagination. Convergent validity can also be assessed based on assessment, as it involves projection into the future instead of the
task performance within populations. If patients have consistent past and the event is novel and personally relevant. Episodic
deficits in both episodic future thinking and imagination, this memory is a main element of standard neuropsychological testing,
would provide evidence for convergence. Most studies found that given its applicability to many neurological disorders.
patients have a similar performance on imagination and episodic Lezak et al. (2012) and Grant and Adams (2009) summarize
future thinking tasks (Berryhill et al., 2010 [in patients with various types of memory assessments used in a clinical neuropsy-
prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex damage]; Hassabis chology setting. Common memory assessments include verbal
et al., 2007 [in patients with amnesia]; Zeman et al., 2013 [in memory tasks. Verbal memory tasks require recall and recognition
patients with amnesia], Weiler et al., 2011 [in patients with tha- of word lists (such as the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Rey,
lamic lesions]), while two studies have found that patients have 1964; the California Verbal Learning Test, Delis, Kramer, Kaplan,
more pronounced deficits in episodic future thinking (De Vito, et & Ober, 2000; or verbal paired associates, Wechsler et al., 2009)
al., 2012 [in patients with Parkinsons disease]; Rendell et al., or recall and recognition of stories (such as the Logical Memory
2012 [in older adults]). Task, Wechsler et al., 2009). Another common domain of memory
Overall, evidence is consistent with moderate convergence be- assessment is visual memory involving memory of objects, shapes,
tween episodic future thinking and imagination (see Table 2). pictures, or patterns, such as the visual recall and recognition
Given the theoretical overlap between episodic future thinking and through the Rey Complex Figure Test (Meyers & Meyers, 1996) or
imagination, research could examine the correlations between visual memory over single or multiple trials through Designs from
these constructs to further establish convergent validity. A limita- the Wechsler Memory Scale (Wechsler et al., 2009). These mem-
tion of this literature is that convergence with imagination was ory tasks are a part of the main approaches to neuropsychological
only addressed with the scene construction task. Future research assessment, such as the Iowa-Benton School of Neuropsycholog-
should explore the Lived Future Questionnaire, the Known Future ical Assessment and the Boston Process Approach to Neuropsy-
Questionnaire, or tasks with alternate scoring methods. chological Assessment (Grant & Adams, 2009).
Convergent validity with respect to memory. As discussed At least moderate convergence between episodic future thinking
earlier, there is a close theoretical connection between episodic and standard episodic memory tasks is expected because these
future thinking and memory. This overlap was especially sup- constructs are theoretically related. Studies reveal inconsistent
ported by research investigating the core neural network and findings in older adults (Addis & Schacter, 2008; Cole et al.,
cognitive processes of episodic future thinking. Researchers may 2013), patients with Alzheimers disease (El Haj et al., 2015; Irish
argue that memory tests capture similar aspects of cognition, and et al., 2012a), and patients with frontotemporal dementia (Irish,
provide clinicians with similar information as an episodic future Hodges, et al., 2013). When reported, the correlation coefficients

Table 2
Validity of Constructs Related to Episodic Future Thinking

Incremental
Constructs Convergent validity Predictive validity validity

Imagination Moderate convergence Evidence of predictive validity based on limited Unknown


literature
Episodic memory Moderate convergence Evidence of predictive validity Unknown
Autobiographical memory Strong convergence Evidence of predictive validity Unknown
Prospective memory Evidence of convergence based on very limited Evidence of predictive validity Unknown
literature
894 WARD

between episodic future thinking and standard episodic memory Studies have shown a positive correlation between autobio-
tasks were extremely variable, ranging from small, negative cor- graphical memory and episodic future thinking performance (ep-
relations to strong, positive correlations (r .13 to .73 for isodic details, internal details, and external details) in patients with
internal details; r .20 to .01 for external details; r .45 for memory deficits (Addis, Sacchetti, et al., 2009; El Haj et al., 2015;
episodic details), revealing an approximately moderate, positive Gamboz et al., 2010; Race et al., 2011), healthy older adults (Addis
correlation for internal or episodic details. et al., 2010; Addis & Schacter, 2008), patients with multiple
When examining performance across neurological populations, sclerosis (Ernst et al., 2014), and patients with frontotemporal
most studies have found that patients have a consistent perfor- dementia (Irish, Hodges, et al., 2013). Of the reported correlation
mance in both episodic memory tasks and episodic future thinking coefficients, the range of the correlation reflects moderate to
in patients with Alzheimers disease (Addis, Sacchetti, et al., 2009; extremely strong convergence (r .41 to .87 for past internal and
El Haj et al., 2015; Irish et al., 2012a; Irish et al., 2012b; Irish, future internal; r .35 to .97 for past external and future external;
Hodges, et al., 2013), frontotemporal dementia (Irish, Hodges, et r .59 to .86 for past internal and future external; r .12 to .75
al., 2013), transient global amnesia (Juskenaite et al., 2014), am- for past external and future internal; r .45 for past episodic and
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

nesia (Kurczek et al., 2015; Race et al., 2011; Zeman et al., 2013), future episodic details), which suggests strong convergence be-
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and in a case study with a temporal resection (Manning et al., tween episodic future thinking and autobiographical memory.
2013). Fewer studies find inconsistent episodic future thinking and Studies which used the Lived Future Questionnaire, the Known
episodic memory performances when evaluated in semantic de- Future Questionnaire, and tasks with alternate scoring methods did
mentia (Irish et al., 2012a; Irish et al., 2012b), multiple sclerosis not examine correlations between autobiographical memory and
(Ernst et al., 2014), and in patients with a thalamic lesion (Weiler episodic future thinking, so the evidence of convergent validity
et al., 2011). Viard et al. (2014) found that in patients with was examined within neurological populations. Klein et al. (2002;
semantic dementia, convergence depended on severity and loca- in a case study with amnesia) and Manning et al. (2013; in a case
tion of neural atrophy. Using the Lived Future and Known Future study with left temporal resection) found convergence between the
Questionnaires, studies in patients with amnesia (Klein et al., Lived Future Questionnaire and autobiographical memory, while
2002; Andelman et al., 2010) and a case study with temporal the Known Future Questionnaire did not show convergence with
resection (Manning et al., 2013) found convergence between the
autobiographical memory. Using alternate scoring methods, Gallo
Lived Future Questionnaire and episodic memory, but no conver-
et al. (2011) and Manning et al. (2013) found convergence be-
gence between the Known Future Questionnaire and episodic
tween episodic future thinking and autobiographical memory in
memory.
older adults and a case study with a temporal resection respec-
Overall, there seems to be moderate evidence of convergence
tively. Even though there are some task inconsistencies, overall
from correlations and moderate convergence from findings across
evidence is consistent with strong convergence between autobio-
neurological populations (see Table 2). The only task that did not
graphical memory and episodic future thinking (see Table 2). This
show convergence was the Known Future Questionnaire, again
suggests that a main component of episodic future thinking is the
suggesting that this task may measure a separate form of future
mental construction of a personally relevant event.
thinking. Based on this evidence, it is possible that episodic future
Prospective memory is defined remembering to carry out in-
thinking captures overlapping cognitive processes with episodic
memory because both involve construction of a subjective event tended actions at an appropriate point in the future (McDaniel &
tied to a specific time and place. Future work is necessary to Einstein, 2007). There are standardized prospective memory tasks
examine the relationship between episodic future thinking and the measuring prospective memory that have been developed for clin-
full array of standard episodic memory tasks. ical purposes (Lezak et al., 2012). These tasks include the River-
Convergent validity with respect to autobiographical memory mead Behavioral Memory Test (Wilson, Cockburn, & Baddeley,
and prospective memory. Two other areas of memory that in- 1991), the Cambridge Test of Prospective Memory (Wilson et al.,
volve episodic memory processes include autobiographical mem- 2005), Memory for Intentions Screening Test (Raskin, 2009), and
ory and prospective memory. Autobiographical memory is defined the Virtual Week (Rendell & Craik, 2000). The tasks are formatted
as memory of ones personal experiences (Brewer, 1986; Conway as event based tasks (remembering to conduct certain actions in
& Rubin, 1993; Conway, & Pleydell-Pearce, 2000). Autobiograph- response to event cues) and time based tasks, (remembering to
ical memory involves more personally relevant memories than conduct certain actions after a specific time period). Prospective
during standard episodic memory tasks. The standardized tasks memory is theoretically similar to episodic future thinking because
measuring autobiographical memory involve describing past it involves projecting oneself into the future. Prospective memory
events from different periods of an individuals life (freely or in is theoretically distinct from episodic future thinking, because it
response to a cue word) and are scored by the inclusion of involves many other mental processes as outlined by Ellis (1996):
semantic and episodic details (Crovitz, & Schiffman, 1974; Ko- forming and encoding an intention, retaining the intention for a
pelman, Wilson, & Badddley, 1989; Levine et al., 2002; Tranel & certain interval of time, retrieving the intention within a specified
Jones, 2006). However, some clinicians assess autobiographical interval, initiation and execution of the intention, and the evalua-
memory through interview and other reports without standardized tion of the outcome. Several reviews have speculated the possible
assessment. Autobiographical memory and episodic future think- role of episodic future thinking within prospective memory pro-
ing are similar, because they involve mental construction of a cesses, or a similar construct called implementation intentions
personally relevant event. They differ theoretically, because epi- (Atance & ONeill, 2001; Schacter et al., 2008; Schacter, 2012;
sodic future thinking involves projecting oneself into the future Szpunar, 2010). Unlike prospective memory, episodic future think-
rather than the past, as well as the construction of a novel event. ing does not require action based on the future mental simulation.
VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 895

Some research suggests overlap between these two constructs. Zeman et al., 2013), patients with a traumatic brain injury (Ras-
Terrett et al. (2015) found a small, significant correlation between mussen & Berntsen, 2014), or patients with a thalamic lesion
internal details of episodic future thinking and prospective mem- (Weiler et al., 2011). However, there was convergence between
ory in older adults (r .28). Research has shown that when working memory and the Known Future Questionnaire in two case
participants engage in episodic future thinking, their prospective studies of amnesia (Klein et al., 2002; Andelman et al., 2010).
memory performance was enhanced in older and young adults Overall, across all tasks of episodic future thinking besides the
respectively (Altgassen et al., 2015; Neroni, Gamboz, & Brandi- Known Future Questionnaire, most evidence suggests episodic
monte, 2014), supporting episodic future thinking as a component future thinking is distinct with respect to working memory.
of prospective memory. Addis, Sacchetti, et al. (2009) found that Narrative construction is the ability to create a coherent story or
patients with Alzheimers disease had impaired prospective mem- description (Race et al., 2011). Narrative construction is measured
ory performance and impaired episodic future thinking perfor- by describing or creating a story. Participants are presented with a
mance. Because episodic future thinking and prospective memory picture, and they are instructed to describe what is occurring in the
are theoretically related, this correlation needs to be further ex- picture in as much detail as possible or to tell a detailed story based
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plored to demonstrate the convergent validity of episodic future on the picture (Gaesser et al., 2011; Madore, Gaesser, et al., 2014;
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thinking. Thus, there is evidence of convergence between episodic Race et al., 2011; Rendell et al., 2012; Zeman et al., 2013). These
future thinking and prospective memory based on very limited studies were completed in older adults (Gaesser et al., 2011;
literature (see Table 2). Madore, Gaesser, et al., 2014; Rendell et al., 2012) and amnesic
Summary. Overall, there is evidence of moderate convergence patients (Race et al., 2011; Zeman et al., 2013). Narrative con-
between episodic future thinking and episodic memory, strong struction and episodic future thinking are theoretically distinct.
convergence between episodic future thinking and autobiographi- Narrative construction differs from episodic future thinking in that
cal memory, and convergence between episodic future thinking it does not require the mental construction of an event and does not
and prospective memory based on very limited literature. Due to involve self-referential thinking.
convergence between episodic future thinking and episodic mem- Two studies have inconsistent findings regarding the relation-
ory, episodic future thinking may not be useful because episodic ship between episodic future thinking with narrative construction.
memory is already included in standard neuropsychological as- Race et al. (2011) used the adapted AI task and found that there
sessments. However, the magnitude of the association between was a small, nonsignificant relationship between episodic details
episodic memory and episodic future thinking is not has strong as during episodic future thinking and narrative construction (r .22
the magnitude of the association between autobiographical mem- in controls, r .20 in patients with medial temporal lobe damage).
ory and episodic future thinking. Aspects of neurocognitive func- Gaesser et al. (2011) conducted two hierarchical linear regression
tioning may only be tapped by episodic future thinking or autobio- models in two separate samples including both old and young
graphical memory, so it may be worthwhile to consider incorporating adults, and found large relationships (R2 .46, R2 .74) between
these domains into a clinical neuropsychological setting. Because episodic future thinking (using internal details of the adapted AI
the convergence between episodic future thinking tasks is not task) and narrative construction. These relationships modestly
clear, future research should determine if episodic future thinking improved with addition of age to the model. Based on these
tasks are measuring different constructs, especially because find- findings, it is unclear whether the theoretical differences or over-
ings suggest the Known Future Questionnaire measures a separate lapping qualities are greater between narrative construction and
construct. Next, the discriminant validity of episodic future think- episodic future thinking. When examining performance on narra-
ing is addressed. tive construction and episodic future thinking within populations,
two studies found that older adults (Madore, Gaesser, et al., 2014)
and patients with amnesia (Zeman et al., 2013) have a deficit in
Discriminant Validity of Episodic Future Thinking
both narrative construction and episodic future thinking, though
The discriminant validity of episodic future thinking needs to be multiple studies have found that older adults (Gaesser et al., 2011;
considered in order to determine if it is a unique construct. Two Rendell et al., 2012) and patients with amnesia (Race et al., 2011)
constructs that are theoretically unique from episodic future think- have more profound deficits in episodic future thinking than nar-
ing are working memory and narrative construction. Working rative construction.
memory is defined as the ability to mentally hold and manipulate There is mixed evidence of discriminant validity between epi-
information (Lezak et al., 2012). Addis and Schacter (2008) is the sodic future thinking and narrative construction based on the
only study that has addressed the correlation between episodic limited literature. However, minimal studies have examined the
future thinking and working memory. Addis and Schacter (2008) correlation between narrative construction and episodic future
found a significant relationship between internal details of future thinking, and these findings remain to be replicated. Some insight
thinking and working memory using digit span backward (r .47) may be gained from research on the neuroanatomical and cognitive
but not significant relationship for external details (r .06) in substrates of narrative construction that may influence whether
older adults. Thus, components assessed by the future thinking there is convergence with episodic future thinking in certain neu-
task may moderate the relationship. rological populations (AbdulSabur et al., 2014; Mar, 2004; Troiani
Discriminant validity can also be examined by assessing work- et al., 2008). Research suggests that executive functioning is
ing memory and episodic future thinking performance within important for narrative construction. Furthermore, neuroimaging
populations. Many studies did not find convergence between ep- data and data from brain damaged patients support the role of
isodic future thinking and working memory in patients with am- various sectors of the prefrontal cortex in story production. Even
nesia (Andelman et al., 2010; Klein et al., 2002; Race et al., 2011; though there is some overlap in the neural network of narrative
896 WARD

construction and episodic future thinking, narrative construction The predictive validity of the following closely related con-
does not seems to rely on memory or the medial temporal lobe, a structs were assessed: imagination, autobiographical memory, ep-
region found to be critical for episodic future thinking. isodic memory, and prospective memory. Imagination was also
It is possible that patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex explored with the search term mental simulation because these
would have problems in both episodic future thinking and narrative terms are used interchangeably. Each closely related construct was
construction, while patients with damage to the medial temporal lobe searched in Pubmed and PsycInfo with respect to the following
would only have deficits in episodic future thinking. This has been domains of adaptive functioning that are related to episodic future
supported in some studies investigating episodic future thinking and thinking: decision-making, problem solving, goal processing, and
narrative construction in older adults and patients with amnesia. Some coping. Imagination and the memory subtypes were also searched
research has found deficits in both episodic future thinking and with respect to independent activities of daily living (IADLs),
narrative construction in older adults, which provides evidence of social functioning, and medication adherence, because these are
convergence in older adults (Madore, Gaesser, et al., 2014). This also important areas of adaptive functioning. Articles were in-
finding is supported by research that has shown cognitive decline in cluded if they were review or empirical articles conducted in
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both executive functioning and memory in older adults which reflects adults. 5,293 results were found and 44 articles met the inclusion
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

neural decline of the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe criteria.
(Hedden & Gabrieli, 2004). Some research suggests that patients with Incremental validity with respect to imagination. Minimal
memory deficits and medial temporal lobe damage have deficits in studies have examined the relationship between imagination and
episodic future thinking with intact narrative construction, which adaptive functioning. Research has found that imagination im-
suggests there is not convergence in patients with medial temporal proves problem solving (Adeyemo, 2001 [in young adults]; He-
lobe damage (Race et al., 2011). However, no definitive conclusions garty, 2004 [in a review]), lowers negative thoughts in healthy
regarding the neural correlates and cognitive processes can be drawn young adults (Stokes & Hirsch, 2010), decreases anxiety in healthy
based on this literature because there are disparate findings regarding adults (Armitage & Reidy, 2012), and improves coping with pain
the overlap between narrative construction and episodic future think- in patients who underwent surgery (Daake & Gueldner, 1989).
ing within patients with amnesia (Race et al., 2011; Zeman et al., Furthermore, deficits in imagination have been found to be
2013) and within older adults (Gaesser et al., 2011; Madore et al., related to social functioning in patients with autism spectrum
2014; Rendell et al., 2012). Future research should determine if the disorders (Conson et al., 2015) and in healthy young adults
prefrontal cortex functioning is the critical neural region that deter- (Gaesser & Schacter, 2014). Currently, there is evidence of the
mines whether there is convergence between narrative construction predictive validity of imagination based on limited literature
and episodic future thinking. (see Table 2). Research to date has not examined the incremen-
Race et al. (2011) suggested that future work should evaluate other tal validity of episodic future thinking relative to imagination
areas of narrative construction, such as overall organization of the (see Table 2). If episodic future thinking was redundant with
narrative. Current research assessing narrative construction in relation imagination, then episodic future thinking may not be needed in
to episodic future thinking measures the semantic and episodic details neuropsychological assessment.
included in the narrative description. Future research should consider Incremental validity with respect to memory. Research has
measures such as cohesion and coherence (Kurczek & Duff, 2011; shown that episodic memory, autobiographical memory, and prospec-
Race, Keane, & Verfaellie, 2015). In Race et al. (2015), cohesion is tive memory are also involved in adaptive functioning. Episodic
defined as a measure of the connection of individual narrative memory has also been found to influence IADLs (Cahn-Weiner et al.,
elements using linguistic devices (e.g., grammatical and lexical 2007; De Paula et al., 2015; McClure et al., 2007; Rog et al., 2014;
links), (p. 272) and coherence is defined as a measure of the overall Schmitter-Edgecombe, Woo, & Greeley, 2009; Tan, Hultsch, &
continuity and organization of the narrative (p. 272). Race et al. Strauss, 2009; Tomaszewski et al., 2009), problem solving abilities
(2015) found that deficits in cohesion and coherence in patients with (Burton, Strauss, Hultsch, & Hunter, 2006; Vandermorris, Sheldon,
amnesia may explain deficits in the past and future thinking. This may Winocur, & Moscovitch, 2013), social functioning (Bielak, Gerstorf,
be helpful clinically because these types of deficits may subsume Anstey, & Luszcz, 2014; Gaesser & Schacter, 2014; McClure et al.,
deficits in various constructs due to tasks requiring an extended verbal 2007; Tan, Hultsch, & Strauss, 2009), and decision-making (Del
response. Missier et al., 2013; Stormoen, Almkvist, Eriksdotter, Sundstrm, &
Overall, even though there was mixed evidence of discriminant Tallberg, 2014) across a wide array of populations, including healthy
validity for both working memory and narrative construction, as older adults, psychiatric populations, in patients with mild cognitive
expected, these tasks showed less convergence with episodic fu- impairment and in patients with dementia. Autobiographical memory
ture thinking than closely related concepts of imagination and is related to problem solving across many populations including
memory. healthy older adults, psychiatric populations, patients with amnesia,
and patients with Asperger syndrome (Beaman, Pushkar, Etezadi,
Bye, & Conway, 2007; Evans, Williams, OLoughlin, & Howells,
Incremental Validity of Episodic Future Thinking
1992; Goddard, Dritschel, & Burton, 1996; Goddard, Dritschel, &
Because episodic future thinking has a significant connection with Burton, 1997; Goddard, Howlin, Dritschel, & Trishna, 2007; Maurex
adaptive functioning, it needs to be determined whether episodic et al., 2010; Pollock & Williams, 2001; Raes et al., 2005; Sheldon et
future thinking predicts adaptive functioning over and above related al., 2015; Sheldon, McAndrews, & Moscovitch, 2011; Sutherland &
constructs. Incremental validity should also be evaluated to determine Bryant, 2008). Some research has suggested that people who are
whether it is worthwhile to include episodic future thinking or a exposed to acute stressors cope in the short term by providing over-
related construct in clinical neuropsychological assessment. general autobiographical memory descriptions (Debeer et al., 2012;
VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 897

Hermans et al., 2008; Hermans, Defranc, Raes, Williams, & Eelen, require participants to provide a future event that will occur across
2005; Moore & Zoellner, 2007), but evidence suggests that this a variety of time frames, such as within the next few weeks, within
strategy is not effective in the long term, because impaired autobio- the next year, or within the next 20 years. Some studies used a
graphical memory is associated with greater flashbacks in patients combination of these time frames or did not specify a time frame.
with posttraumatic stress disorder (Moradi et al., 2008). Prospective Research has shown more details are included in future events that
memory is involved in medication management in patients with HIV are closer to the present (DArgembeau & Van der Linden, 2004),
(Contardo, Black, Beauvais, Dieckhaus, & Rosen, 2009; Poquette et so it is possible that the time frame in which the future event was
al., 2012; Woods et al., 2009; Zogg et al., 2010), schizophrenia (Lam, constructed could lead to inconsistencies in findings.
Lui, Wang, Chan, & Cheung, 2013; Raskin et al., 2014), and healthy Another potential cause to inconsistencies among the validity
older adults (Woods et al., 2014), among others (for review, see Zogg, literature are the neurological populations tested. There is some
Woods, Sauceda, Wiebe, & Simoni, 2012). Prospective memory is evidence that convergence and divergence between constructs
also related to social functioning in patients with schizophrenia (Guai- depends on the neurological population. For example, Irish,
ana, Tyson, & Mortimer, 2004). Hodges, et al. (2013) found that patients with FTD showed greater
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Based on this literature, it is clear that episodic, autobiographical, variability in the convergence between autobiographical memory
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

and prospective memory have predictive validity with respect to and episodic future thinking because the correlations ranged be-
adaptive functioning (see Table 2). No study to date has investigated tween r .12 and r .87 (r .41 between past internal and
the incremental validity of episodic future thinking with respect to future internal; r .59 between past internal and future external;
episodic, autobiographical, or prospective memory (see Table 2). In r .12 between past external and future internal; r .87
order to determine which construct is most valuable to clinical neu- between past external and future external) when compared to older
ropsychological assessment, it is necessary to determine which con- adults that ranged between r .75 and .97 (r .79 between past
struct best predicts adaptive functioning. This research is especially internal and future internal; r .86 between past internal and
necessary with respect to episodic memory because it is already used future external; r .75 between past external and future internal;
in standard clinical neuropsychological assessment. r .97 between past external and future external) and patients
with Alzheimers disease that ranged from r .67 to .81 (r .76
between past internal and future internal; r .81 between past
Summary
internal and future external; r .67 between past external and
Evidence of the convergent and discriminant validity of episodic future internal; r .78 between past external and future external).
future thinking was evaluated. Convergent validity is unclear be- When examining convergence based on performance of two con-
tween episodic future thinking tasks, there is evidence of conver- structs within neurological populations, Irish et al. (2012a) found
gence between episodic future thinking and related constructs, and deficits in both episodic memory and future thinking in patients
episodic future thinking appears to have some evidence of dis- with Alzheimers disease, but intact episodic memory with im-
criminant validity with respect to working memory and narrative paired future thinking in patients with semantic dementia. How-
construction. The measurement differences between episodic fu- ever, due to task differences, inconsistencies within neurological
ture thinking tasks need to be addressed in future research. It is populations, and few studies, no definitive conclusions can be
unclear whether episodic future thinking has incremental validity drawn at this time regarding which neurological population shows
because the related constructs have not been directly compared to convergence between episodic future thinking and related con-
episodic future thinking with respect to adaptive functioning. structs. This is a limitation of the current literature. Future research
While there is some evidence available to address the validity of should explore whether the differential relationship between epi-
episodic future thinking, there are some inconsistencies in findings sodic future thinking and related constructs depends on the neu-
in terms of convergent and discriminant validity of episodic future rological population. For example, convergence between narrative
thinking. The first potential cause to these inconsistencies includes construction and episodic future thinking may be due to contrib-
measurement differences between episodic future thinking tasks. uting factors specific to each patient group. As discussed previ-
For example, the Known Future Questionnaire may measure a ously, executive functioning and the prefrontal cortex are impor-
separate construct than the other episodic future thinking tasks. tant for narrative construction, while episodic future thinking
The components that are assessed within an episodic future think- involves a network that includes both executive functioning and
ing task may also impact the validity of episodic future thinking. the prefrontal cortex as well as memory and the medial temporal
When assessing episodic memory in relation to episodic future lobe. Thus, convergence between narrative construction and epi-
thinking, it seems that internal or episodic details converge more sodic future thinking may depend on whether executive function-
strongly (r .13 to .73; Addis and Schacter, 2008; Cole et al., ing and the prefrontal cortex are intact. There are inconsistencies
2013; El Haj et al., 2015; Irish et al., 2012a; Irish, Hodges, et al., in current findings in older adults and patients with amnesia.
2013) than external details (r .20 to .01; Addis and Schacter, Future research should explore convergence between episodic
2008; Cole et al., 2013) with episodic memory. Furthermore, some future thinking and narrative construction in patients with prefron-
studies use a sentence cue through the scene construction task, tal cortex damage to clarify if convergence depends on this neural
while the adapted AI task uses a word cue. As discussed earlier, a region. Future research needs to systematically determine if con-
sentence cue may only require elaboration on a constructed event, vergence and divergence of episodic future thinking differs across
while a word cue may require both construction of an event and neurological populations.
elaboration of that event (Hurley et al., 2011). Another task dif- Overall, future research should further investigate the impact of
ference that may influence validity findings is the time frame in measurement differences and the neurological population on va-
which participants were told to describe their future event. Tasks lidity findings. A limitation of the current literature is that not all
898 WARD

correlations are reported in articles, so it is hard to determine the ographical memory also is not assessed in standard clinical neuropsy-
validity without appropriate data. This could skew the results if chological assessment because of the practical limitations of the
nonsignificant correlations are not taken into account. Establishing current tasks. First, the main challenge in measuring autobiographical
validity is an ongoing process and it is necessary to continue to memory is that the tasks are difficult to standardize. Second, once
collect data on the validity of episodic future thinking and refine again, administration and scoring can be time-consuming for autobi-
validity techniques. For example, more nuanced and sophisticated ographical memory tasks. Furthermore, as discussed by Lezak et al.
methods for establishing validity should be used beyond simple (2012), when autobiographical memory tasks include corroboration,
correlations, such as confirmatory factor analysis or structural their validity can be questionable because reports are difficult to verify
equation modeling. Another factor to consider when evaluating through friends or family members.
whether a construct should be assessed clinically is the practicality The advantages and disadvantages of episodic memory tasks
and utility of the construct in a clinical neuropsychological setting. differ from the other constructs, because these tasks are already
included in standard neuropsychological assessment. The main
Clinical Assessment of Episodic Future Thinking and advantage of standard episodic memory tasks is the minimal time
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Related Constructs to administer and score these tasks. Additionally, these tasks also
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have extensive normative data. There are not many clinical disad-
The current section will focus on episodic future thinking, vantages to episodic memory tasks, because many of these tasks
imagination, episodic memory and autobiographical memory in a are included in standard neuropsychological assessment.
clinical neuropsychological setting. These constructs are consid- There are several necessary modifications to episodic future think-
ered because they appear to have the most evidence for conver- ing tasks to make them clinically appropriate. These changes are also
gence with episodic future thinking. The clinical advantages and applicable to autobiographical memory and imagination. One way
disadvantages of each construct will be addressed. The review then that an episodic future thinking task could be administered is by
presents potential modifications to episodic future thinking and including similar elements of tasks given by Hassabis et al. (2007) and
related tasks in order to develop an appropriate task for clinical Addis and Schacter (2008), but with fewer trials. For example, the
neuropsychological assessment. task could include describing future events in response to word cues
The practical benefit of autobiographical memory tasks is that
(to mimic the standard episodic future thinking research tasks) and
there are several standardized tests that have been developed to
event cues. The cue word condition could include describing events in
assess autobiographical memory clinically (Lezak et al., 2012),
response to cue words (i.e., car and garden). For the event
including the Crovitz Test (Crovitz & Schiffman, 1974), the Au-
condition, participants could describe well-known activities, such as a
tobiographical Memory Interview (Kopelman et al., 1989), the AI
sporting event or a wedding. The examiner would be required to
(Levine et al., 2002), and the Iowa Autobiographical Memory
emphasize that the event needs to be novel. During the assessment,
Questionnaire (Tranel & Jones, 2006). Established measures make
voice recognition software could be used to provide a transcript of the
it easier to implement the clinical assessment of autobiographical
future event description to reduce the scoring time. In order to reliably
memory.
score the data without multiple raters, a detailed scoring manual
However, there are also many practical disadvantages for episodic
would be provided for clinicians to reference scoring of details.
future thinking, imagination, and autobiographical memory tasks.
First, episodic future thinking has been examined solely in research Another possible method of assessing episodic future thinking in a
and has not been assessed in clinical neuropsychology. If a task were clinical neuropsychological setting is by collecting normative data on
included in clinical neuropsychological assessment, modifications of the details included in response to specific cues, such as Thanksgiving
these episodic future thinking tasks are necessary, because most are Day or New Years Eve. Based on this normative data, a list of
not appropriate in terms of ease and efficiency. Both the adapted AI standardized responses could be provided and scored as correct when
task (Addis & Schacter, 2008), scene construction task (Hassabis et included in the future event description, similar to Logical Memory
al., 2007), and tasks with alternate scoring methods (El Haj et al., from the Wechsler Memory Scale, Fourth Edition (Wechsler, Hold-
2015; Gallo et al., 2011; Manning et al., 2013; Viard et al., 2011l nack, & Drozdick, 2009). This method would ease scoring, yet
Viard et al., 2014) tend to take an hour or more to complete because participants may rely more on memories, rather than future construc-
of the number of trials in the tasks. The adapted AI task and scene tions, because the cues are based on events that happen annually. With
construction task require extensive scoring time, because the events either method of episodic future thinking assessment, details or type
need to be transcribed and the various details need to be identified. of consciousness would be assessed if research has found they are
The Lived Future Questionnaire requires collateral to confirm the related to adaptive functioning. Overall, modifications are necessary
plausibility of future events, which is not always available or reliable. in order to develop a clinically appropriate episodic future thinking
Both the Lived Future Questionnaire and Known Future Question- task. Similar changes would be needed for the imagination and
naire are scored as correct if the provided answers are plausible, but autobiographical memory tasks in order for the tasks to be appropriate
more specific scoring criteria would be required for a clinical neuro- for a clinical neuropsychological setting.
psychological setting because patients provide a wide variety of Overall, episodic future thinking, imagination, and autobio-
responses. None of the episodic future thinking tasks have normative graphical memory are currently not included in neuropsychologi-
data. Regarding imagination, the practical disadvantages of the imag- cal assessment and may provide assessment of cognitive function-
ination component of the scene construction task are the same as the ing not being captured in standard assessment. However, the
episodic future thinking task, given their similar formats. There is incremental validity of episodic future thinking has not been
currently no imagination task developed for clinical assessment. established, and episodic memory tasks are useful, because they
Imagination tasks also do not have normative data available. Autobi- have many practical advantages and they provide predictive va-
VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 899

lidity. Episodic future thinking tasks pose significant practical to adaptive functioning, assessing these components of episodic future
limitations in neuropsychological assessment. thinking would be a priority.
Though clinical assessment was not examined for prospective The next area of future research that should be addressed is the
memory, future research may warrant examining their utility in a information that episodic future thinking provides to clinical neuro-
clinical neuropsychological setting based on their convergence psychologists. In order to be included in a neuropsychological test
with episodic future thinking, predictive validity, and incremental battery, episodic future thinking would need to add information re-
validity. For example, if future research finds convergence be- garding adaptive functioning over and above other standard clinical
tween prospective memory and episodic future thinking, the prac- neuropsychological tasks. If current tasks already included in neuro-
tical limitations of prospective memory should be taken into account. psychological assessment equally or better predict adaptive function-
Prospective memory tasks are time-consuming in administration and ing, then it would not be worth including episodic future thinking. The
scoring, they have limited reliability (Fish, Wilson, & Manly, predictive validity of episodic future thinking should be investigated
2010; Lezak et al., 2012), and they have problematic ecological with respect to IADLs and social functioning. IADLs are frequently
validity (McDaniel & Einstein, 2007; Phillips, Henry, & Martin, assessed by neuropsychologists to examine independent living poten-
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

2008). The limitations of all tasks should be considered pending tial including the ability to handle finances, prepare food, complete
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

future research. household duties, and manage medications (Lawton & Brody, 1969).
The ability to think in the future could have important implications for
Summary and Conclusions recommendations given by clinical neuropsychologists for self-care
and independent living. As mentioned previously, closely related
The current review examined the validity and implications of constructs such as imagination and various domains of memory have
episodic future thinking in a clinical neuropsychological setting. The been significantly related to social functioning, but this relationship
validity of episodic future thinking was addressed due to episodic has not been investigated with episodic future thinking.
future thinking deficits in neurological populations and due to its A limitation of current literature addressing the validity of episodic
connection to adaptive functioning. Evidence of convergence between future thinking is that it has been conducted across a wide array of
episodic future thinking tasks is lacking for some tasks, especially for neurological populations using different episodic future thinking
the Known Future Questionnaire. Overall, there was evidence of tasks. In order for episodic future thinking to be valuable in clinical
convergent validity between episodic future thinking and imagination, neuropsychological assessment, the construct should converge and
autobiographical memory, prospective memory, and episodic mem- diverge similarly across populations to show that episodic future
ory. Discriminant validity evidence suggests that episodic future thinking is a unique and established construct. This has not been
thinking is a unique construct. However, minimal studies explored the addressed due to minimal studies and various episodic future thinking
convergent validity and discriminant validity of episodic future think- tasks. This also applies to research on the relationship between epi-
ing so it should be explored in future research. Incremental validity sodic future thinking and adaptive functioning, as an episodic future
evidence is lacking for episodic future thinking because no research thinking task would not be useful is it only provided information on
has addressed the predictive validity of episodic future thinking over adaptive functioning for some neurological patients. Overall, future
and above related constructs. It is currently unclear whether episodic research should determine if convergent validity, discriminant valid-
future thinking is already captured in clinical neuropsychological ity, and predictive validity of episodic future thinking is consistent
assessment. In addition to addressing validity, the practical limitations across neurological populations.
of episodic future thinking and autobiographical memory tasks need In conclusion, future research needs to determine if episodic future
to be considered before including them in a clinical neuropsycholog- thinking would be useful and unique in standard clinical neuropsycho-
ical setting. A task used in a clinical neuropsychological setting needs logical assessment. As emphasized by Arthur Benton (Sivan, Levin, &
to be economical and efficient in terms of its administration and Hannay, 2007), neuropsychologists have a critical responsibility to update
scoring, while retaining reliability and validity and maximizing clin- clinical assessment to include novel research. Through our continued
ical utility. Overall, the following validity research should be ad- advancement of memory research, we must not neglect the important
dressed before incorporating episodic future thinking into clinical implications our findings could have for clinical populations. However, it
neuropsychological assessment: the content validity of episodic future would be fruitful to first address the validity of episodic future thinking
thinking, the connection between episodic future thinking and adap- and related constructs before determining whether episodic future think-
tive functioning, and the validity of episodic future thinking across ing should be incorporated into clinical neuropsychological assessment.
neurological populations. Future research will help determine whether assessment of a key higher
Future research should address the content validity of episodic cognitive function is missing in mainstream contemporary clinical neu-
future thinking so the elements of episodic future thinking that best ropsychological assessment.
predict adaptive functioning are assessed, such as episodic details,
semantic details, consciousness, or other content not yet identified.
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VALIDITY OF EPISODIC FUTURE THINKING 905

Appendix A
The Default Mode Network

The core neural network of episodic future thinking has been ments, research has found that people frequently engage in
found to overlap with the default mode network (as reviewed in self-referential thinking in the future and the past during passive
Schacter (2012a) and Schacter et al. (2012b)). The default mode thinking, which may explain the similarity between these two
network is a group of neural regions that are more active during networks (Andrews-Hanna, Reidler, Huang, & Buckner, 2010).
wakeful rest (Raichle et al., 2001). The default network in- These findings further support the neural overlap between
cludes the medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate thinking in the past and the future. The findings also suggest
cortex, retrosplenial cortex, inferior parietal lobe, lateral tem- that the core neural network of episodic future thinking may be
poral cortex, and hippocampal formation (Buckner, Andrews- responsible for the mental construction of a vivid event,
Hanna, & Schacter, 2008). Through thought sampling experi- whether in the past or the future.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

Appendix B
The Future Thinking Task

The Future Thinking Task is a fluency task which requires Next, the relationship between the standard episodic future
thinking of as many future events in one minute across different thinking tasks and the Future Thinking Task will be evaluated. The
time periods (MacLeod et al., 1993; MacLeod & Byrne, 1996; Future Thinking Task is similar to the episodic future thinking
Moore et al., 2006) and is scored based on the number of future tasks because it requires the construction of a future event. How-
events produced (MacLeod et al., 1993; MacLeod & Byrne, 1996). ever, there are also differences. Episodic future thinking tasks are
This task has not been assessed within neurological populations, so scored differently than the Future Thinking Task, because they are
there is not evidence to suggest it would be helpful in a clinical scored based on the inclusion of vivid details within future events
neuropsychological setting. The Future Thinking Task has mainly (Addis and Schacter, 2008) or the plausibility of future events
been tested in psychiatric populations. Patients with anxiety and (Klein et al., 2002) rather than the number of future events pro-
depression provide less future events in 1 min (MacLeod et al., duced (MacLeod et al., 1993; MacLeod & Byrne, 1996). Cur-
1993; MacLeod & Byrne, 1996; Moore et al., 2006). rently, research has not investigated the convergence between
The content measured by this task is the ability to produce fluent standard episodic future thinking tasks and the Future Thinking
future events. It is unclear if fluency is a critical component that Task. Future work should determine whether there is convergence
needs to be assessed through the Future Thinking Task. Further- between these tasks. Extremely limited research on the Future
more, the content may be captured by fluency tasks already in- Thinking Task has investigated its connection to adaptive func-
cluded in a standard battery of neuropsychological assessment. tioning. Research has shown a possible role of future thinking in
The Future Thinking Task was adapted from a verbal fluency task, emotional coping. Macleod and Cropley (1995) found that engag-
which is defined as the ability to produce fluent speech (Lezak ing in future thinking about negative events was related to depres-
et al., 2012, p. 693). Standard fluency tasks used in neuropsycho- sion. However, research using the Future Thinking Task was
logical assessment measure strategic retrieval and access to conducted in psychiatric populations, which is outside the scope of
semantic knowledge (Baldo, Schwartz, Wilkins, & Dronkers, this review.
2006). Though strategic retrieval and semantic knowledge are both
necessary when constructing a future event, they do not require
elaboration of vivid details as in episodic future thinking tasks. Received April 30, 2015
Thus, the same cognitive processes may not be involved in both Revision received January 12, 2016
tasks. Accepted January 25, 2016