Future Scenarios - Affective and Cognitive Responses to Information about the Future and Technical Development


  • Eva Jurković Sirius – Centar za psihološko savjetovanje, edukaciju i istraživanje, Zagreb
  • Dragutin Ivanec Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za psihologiju, Zagreb


technology, future, development, progress


The aim of this research was to examine the cognitive and affective reactions of people to the information about rapid technical development which will, according to Moore's law and predictions of computer science specialists, be speedily accelerated and extended to all domains of human life in the near future. It is questionable whether people are ready for these changes and how would they react on them, both from an affective and a cognitive point of view. The study involved three groups of participants (N = 197). The first received information on the future of technical development based on scientific predictions and thoughts of authority through the carefully planned lecture. The other group received implicit information on possible changes connected with rapid development by displaying a science fiction film. The third group was referential - participants did not receive any information. The data on the perception of the future and of the positivity of progress were collected in all three groups. The results showed that the groups that were exposed to information about the future systematically assessed the future more negatively than the reference group. These differences were statistically significant but relatively small. Some of the stable characteristics of the personality domain, such as optimism and the dimension of intellect, have been shown to be slightly positively associated with the perception of the future. The results imply the importance of interdisciplinary academic discussions on the potential impact of the rapid development of technology on people's lives to facilitate the adjustment of people to such development.