Intensity Bias in Affective Forecasting: The Role of Temporal Focus

@article{Buehler2001IntensityBI,
  title={Intensity Bias in Affective Forecasting: The Role of Temporal Focus},
  author={Roger Buehler and Cathy McFarland},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={2001},
  volume={27},
  pages={1480 - 1493}
}
In five studies, university students predicted their affective reactions to a wide variety of positive and negative future events. In Studies 1 to 3, participants also reported the affective reactions they experienced when the target event occurred. As hypothesized, they tended to anticipate more intense reactions than they actually experienced. In Studies 3 to 5, a cognitive determinant of this “intensity bias” was examined. It was hypothesized that people anticipate stronger affective… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Cultural Differences in Affective Forecasting: The Role of Focalism
TLDR
Three studies supported the hypothesis that East Asians, who tend to think more holistically than Westerners, would be less susceptible to focalism and, consequently, to the impact bias in affective forecasting.
Affective forecasting bias in preschool children.
Predicting future happiness: an attempt to determine factors underlying the impact bias
People tend to overestimate their affective reactions to emotional events, exhibiting the so-called impact bias. One factor underlying this bias is a cognitive mechanism known as focalism, the
Affective Forecasting
People base many decisions on affective forecasts, predictions about their emotional reactions to future events. They often display an impact bias, overestimating the intensity and duration of their
Accuracy and artifact: reexamining the intensity bias in affective forecasting.
TLDR
The results showed that participants accurately predicted the intensity of their feelings about events and revealed that people have more sophisticated self-knowledge than is commonly portrayed in the affective forecasting literature.
The Effect of Anticipated Affect on Persistence and Performance
TLDR
The aim of the present research was to examine the interplay between predictions of the affective impact of future events and goal-relevant behavior and to test the hypothesis that affective forecasts influence persistent goal behavior and achievement.
Motivated Prediction of Future Feelings: Effects of Negative Mood and Mood Orientation on Affective Forecasts
TLDR
The findings suggest that affective predictions are sometimes driven by mood-regulatory motives, rather than the opposite, as was hypothesized.
Negative Valence Effect in Affective Forecasting: The Unique Impact of the Valence Among Dispositional and Contextual Factors for Certain Life Events
Decades of research on affective forecasting have shown a persistent intensity bias—a strong tendency by which people overestimate their future hedonic response for positive events and underestimate
Investigating the Role of Time in Affective Forecasting: Temporal Influences on Forecasting Accuracy
TLDR
Using extensive diary data from people taking their driver's license exam, the authors investigated the role of time in affective forecasting accuracy and accurately predicted a decrease of their affective reactions over time but underestimated the speed with which this decrease would occur.
Affective Forecasting and Need for Achievement: The Intense Emotion of Mastery Needs and the Features of Focalism
When predicting future emotions, i.e. engaging in affective forecasting, people tend to overestimate the intensity and duration of emotions, termed the impact bias. We investigated the intensity
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 41 REFERENCES
THE ROLE OF AFFECTIVE EXPECTATIONS IN SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE AND DECISION-MAKING
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
Focalism: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting.
TLDR
Evidence for a distraction interpretation is found, that people who think about future events moderate their forecasts because they believe that these events will reduce thinking about the focal event.
Preferences as expectation-driven inferences: effects of affective expectations on affective experience.
TLDR
A model arguing that affect and emotion are often formed in an expectation-driven fashion is presented, showing that when the value of a stimulus was consistent with an affective expectation, people formed evaluations relatively quickly.
Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting.
TLDR
The present experiments suggest that people neglect the psychological immune system when making affective forecasts.
Reconstructing memory for emotions
This research assessed the stability of peoples' memory for their past emotions over time and the role of changing appraisals in accounting for biases in emotion recall. Following Ross Perot's abrupt
Patterns of cognitive appraisal in emotion.
TLDR
This work proposes eight cognitive appraisal dimensions to differentiate emotional experience, and investigates the patterns of appraisal for the different emotions, and the role of each of the dimensions in differentiating emotional experience are discussed.
The effect of normative beliefs on anticipated emotions.
  • J. Baron
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1992
TLDR
It is suggested that both normative beliefs and anticipated emotions affect decisions, and in many situations, people think that their emotional reactions will fall into line with their normative beliefs.
It's About Time: Optimistic Predictions in Work and Love
We review our research on predictions in two different domains: (a) people's estimates of how long they will take to complete various academic and everyday tasks and (b) forecasts by individuals in
Temporal Adjustments in the Evaluation of Events: The "Rosy View"
TLDR
The results of all three studies supported the hypothesis that people's expectations of personal events are more positive than their actual experience during the event itself, and their subsequent recollection of that event is morepositive than the actual experience.
Exploring the "planning fallacy": Why people underestimate their task completion times.
This study tested 3 main hypotheses concerning people's predictions of task completion times: (a) People underestimate their own but not others' completion times, (b) people focus on plan-based
...
...