The self vis-à-vis the Greek referendum of 2015: Contributions of ‘letters from the future’ used as an instrument in deciphering political decision making.

  • Theofilos Gkinopoulos (Speaker)
  • Sools, A. M. (Speaker)
  • Eva Fragkiadaki (Speaker)
  • Sofia Triliva (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This research focuses on how people temporally position themselves when articulating an imagined future in which either the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ vote has hypothetically prevailed. It also focuses on how ‘futuring’ affects people’s decision making. In an online survey participants contributed a letter from a future and responded to questions indicating how the letter writing exercise helped or hindered their decision making. Fourteen letters were analysed within a narrative-discursive paradigm. Temporal self-representations were evident and included: finding similarities a between the present and the past; regret and remorse regarding the past; constructing an imagined future self, lessons learnt from the past which determine the present and future; self through reminiscence where the flow of the story takes place in the past; recounting the past through self-dialogue; prospective histories; and self in a stable plot by focusing in the present without history or horizon. A thematic analysis of participants’ responses regarding the usefulness of the ‘letters from the future’ in decision-making, revealed that they found the following aspects helpful: self-expression, emotional expression, sense of responsibilization and opportunity to clarify the political state of affairs. Participants did not find the following aspects of the task helpful: precariousness and risk as impediments to imagining a different future, complicated thoughts in the face of uncertainty and the elicitation of anxiety in contemplating the future. Findings are discussed under the light of the inclusion of futurity in self-conceptions and its contribution to political decision making processes.
Period30 Jun 2017
Event titleInternational Society of Political Psychology Conference: ISPP at 40: Revisiting Core Themes of Tyranny, Intergroup Relations and Leadership
Event typeConference
Conference number40
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational