Daniel T. Gilbert

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People are generally unaware of the operation of the system of cognitive mechanisms that ameliorate their experience of negative affect (the psychological immune system), and thus they tend to overestimate the duration of their affective reactions to negative events. This tendency was demonstrated in 6 studies in which participants overestimated the(More)
The correspondence bias is the tendency to draw inferences about a person's unique and enduring dispositions from behaviors that can be entirely explained by the situations in which they occur. Although this tendency is one of the most fundamental phenomena in social psychology, its causes and consequences remain poorly understood. This article sketches an(More)
Is there a difference between believing and merely understanding an idea?Descartes thought so. He considered the acceptance and rejection of an idea to be alternative outcomes of an effortful assessment process that occurs subsequent to the automatic comprehension of that idea. This article examined Spinoza's alternative suggestion that (a) the acceptance(More)
Two studies investigated the effects of cognitive busyness on the activation and application of stereotypes. In Experiment 1, not-busy subjects who were exposed to an Asian target showed evidence of stereotype activation, but busy subjects (who rehearsed an 8-digit number during their exposure) did not. In Experiment 2, cognitive busyness once again(More)
The durability bias, the tendency to overpredict the duration of affective reactions to future events, may be due in part to focalism, whereby people focus too much on the event in question and not enough on the consequences of other future events. If so, asking people to think about other future activities should reduce the durability bias. In Studies 1-3,(More)
Person perception includes three sequential processes: categorization (what is the actor doing?), characterization (what trait does the action imply?), and correction (what situational constraints may have caused the action?). We argue that correction is less automatic (i.e., more easily disrupted) than either categorization or characterization. In(More)
In two studies, we investigated the roles of explicit memory and attentional resources in the process of behavior-induced attitude change. Although most theories of attitude change (cognitive dissonance and self-perception theories) assume an important role for both mechanisms, we propose that behavior-induced attitude change can be a relatively automatic(More)
Spinoza suggested that all information is accepted during comprehension and that false information is then unaccepted. Subjects were presented with true and false linguistic propositions and, on some trials, their processing of that information was interrupted. As Spinoza's model predicted, interruption increased the likelihood that subjects would consider(More)
All animals can predict the hedonic consequences of events they've experienced before. But humans can predict the hedonic consequences of events they've never experienced by simulating those events in their minds. Scientists are beginning to understand how the brain simulates future events, how it uses those simulations to predict an event's hedonic(More)