Timothy DeCamp Wilson

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Evidence is reviewed which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Subjects are sometimes (a) unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response, (b) unaware of the existence of the response, and (c) unaware that the stimulus has affected the response. It is proposed(More)
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)
It must be troubling for the god who loves you To ponder how much happier you'd be today Had you been able to glimpse your many futures. Foreseeing the future is one of the most appealing of all psychic powers. Who has not dreamed of making millions by predicting which new offering on Wall Street will be the next Microsoft and whether the Red Sox or(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)
In previous anchoring studies people were asked to consider an anchor as a possible answer to the target question or were given informative anchors. The authors predicted that basic anchoring effects can occur, whereby uninformative numerical anchors influence a judgment even when people are not asked to compare this number to the target value. Five studies(More)
Loss aversion occurs because people expect losses to have greater hedonic impact than gains of equal magnitude. In two studies, people predicted that losses in a gambling task would have greater hedonic impact than would gains of equal magnitude, but when people actually gambled, losses did not have as much of an emotional impact as they predicted. People(More)
In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be(More)
Two studies explored the extent to which prior affective expectations shape people's evaluations of experiences and decisions about repeating those experiences. Study 1 found that students' prior expectations about an upcoming vacation accounted for a significant portion of the variance in their post-vacation evaluations , as did students' recall of(More)