Anticipation (psychology)

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In psychology and sociology, anticipation is the anticipatory thought expectation or expectation. To anticipate an event is to consider that an event can occur . Take the stock exchange as an example, where experts say that events expected in the future have already been “written in” into the stock prices; that is, are already included in the current share price.

Thought psychology

Otto Selz (1881–1943) introduced the concept of anticipation into thought psychology in order to identify the objective in the goal-oriented thought process that corresponds to the solution sought in a thought task. Anticipation as the forward-looking component is now considered to be a fundamental part of thinking and acting.

Learning theory

The American psychologist Clark L. Hull (1884–1952) coined the term goal gradient effect in 1932 in connection with the development of learning theory . This effect was named by David McClelland (1917–1998) as the anticipatory target reaction. These ideas are part of the doctrine of conditioned reflexes , see also the principle of increasing performance through stimuli, according to their temporal and spatial proximity to the stimulus success ( generalization gradient ).

Expectations in social contacts

The American sociologist Erving Goffman (1922–1982) took the view that the perception of other people is always shaped by positive or negative expectations about their behavior, their social role and their outward appearance. These expectations take effect from the very first encounter. A person with a trait or behavior that does not correspond to the anticipation (expectation) can trigger an irritated reaction. Goffman describes it as follows: “An individual has a stigma ; In other words, it is undesirably different from what we had anticipated. "


  • Leo Hermele, Manfred Spitzer : From degeneration to anticipation - thoughts on the non-Mendelian inheritance of neuropsychiatric diseases from a historical and current perspective. In: Gerhardt Nissen , Frank Badura (ed.): Series of publications of the German Society for the History of Neurology. Volume 2. Würzburg 1996, pp. 111-127.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Wilhelm Karl Arnold et al. (Ed.): Lexicon of Psychology . Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1996, ISBN 3-86047-508-8 ; (a) Col. 130 on Lex. Lemma: “Anticipation”; (b) Col. 507 to Lex.-Lemma: "Expectation".
  2. Dictionary of film terms
  3. Peter R. Hofstätter (Ed.): Psychology . The Fischer Lexicon, Fischer-Taschenbuch, Frankfurt a. M. 1972, ISBN 3-436-01159-2 ; P. 212 to chap. “Learning from success”.
  4. Erving Goffman: Stigma. About techniques for coping with damaged identity . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt / Main 1975 (English 1963); P. 9 f.