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Images and goals

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We propose that mental images are derived from goals. Goals are represented in a complex hierarchy and form a major part of the "working self". Images reflect the existence of specific goals and also act to maintain goals by facilitating the derivation of beliefs from the content of an image. Images in psychopathology may reflect the operation of dysfunctional goals: goals that are unconstrained and which increase discrepancy (experienced as anxiety) within the goal system. Another feature of the goal system is that it is conservative and avoids change. By this view some aspects of distortions in intrusive images of traumatic experiences might be viewed as a defence against goal change. Conversely generating new images might lead to the formation of new goals. These ideas are applied to the findings of the papers in this special issue of Memory and to several new case studies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Durham, UK 2: Newcastle Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies Centre, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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