Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0487

+44 1478 350008


Just an Illusion? Imagination as Higher Mental Function

Luca Tateo

Imagination is a fundamental psychological higher function that elaborates meaning by linguistic and iconic sings, related to memory, fantasy and intelligence, playing a crucial role in scientific thinking, art, and societal change as well as in education and promotion of wellbeing. Contrary to the traditional understanding in psychology and philosophy, imagination is not in opposition with rational thinking and reality, it is rather a specific form of adaptation and pre-adaptation to environment through a self-regulatory process by production and elaboration of meaning. Imagination is also fundamental to guide the future oriented behavior both at individual and collective levels. Human action is based on an imaginative reconstruction of the past in function of an imagined future. Rethinking imagination in psychological sciences requires a different look at the relationship between mind and the environment. In this article such a perspective is elaborated after a short outline of the history of the notion of imagination.