Elizabeth W. Dunn

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Because of personal motives and the architecture of the mind, it may be difficult for people to know themselves. People often attempt to block out unwanted thoughts and feelings through conscious suppression and perhaps through unconscious repression, though whether such attempts are successful is controversial. A more common source of self-knowledge(More)
People tend to overestimate the emotional consequences of future life events, exhibiting an impact bias. The authors replicated the impact bias in a real-life context in which undergraduates were randomly assigned to dormitories (or "houses"). Participants appeared to focus on the wrong factors when imagining their future happiness in the houses. They(More)
Evolutionary models of cooperation require proximate mechanisms that sustain prosociality despite inherent costs to individuals. The "warm glow" that often follows prosocial acts could provide one such mechanism; if so, these emotional benefits may be observable very early in development. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study finds that before(More)
We examine whether a positive feedback loop exists between spending money on others (i.e. prosocial spending) and happiness. Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants(More)
This study provides the first evidence that money impairs people's ability to savor everyday positive emotions and experiences. In a sample of working adults, wealthier individuals reported lower savoring ability (the ability to enhance and prolong positive emotional experience). Moreover, the negative impact of wealth on individuals' ability to savor(More)
This research provides the first support for a possible psychological universal: Human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). In Study 1, survey data from 136 countries were examined and showed that prosocial spending is associated with greater happiness around the world,(More)
In two studies, the authors examined whether people who are high in emotional intelligence (EI) make more accurate forecasts about their own affective responses to future events. All participants completed a performance measure of EI (the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) as well as a self-report measure of EI. Affective forecasting ability(More)
Interest in bridging social psychology and neuroscience has seen a significant upsurge. Much of this interest has centered on brain localization--the attempt to relate psychological events to locations of brain events. Although many articles have sought to localize brain activity that supports social behavior, scant attention has been paid to the specific(More)
Recent scholarly and media accounts paint a portrait of unhappy parents who find remarkably little joy in taking care of their children, but the scientific basis for these claims remains inconclusive. In the three studies reported here, we used a strategy of converging evidence to test whether parents evaluate their lives more positively than do nonparents(More)