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Affective forecasting is the forecasting of one's affect (emotional state) in the future. This kind of prediction is affected by various kinds of cognitive biases, i.e. systematic errors of thought. Daniel Gilbert of the department of social psychology at Harvard University and other researchers in the field, such as Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia and George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University, have studied these cognitive biases and given them names such as "empathy gap" and "impact bias".
Imagine that one morning your telephone rings and you find yourself speaking with the King of Sweden, who informs you in surprisingly good English that you have been selected as this year’s recipient of a Nobel prize. How would you feel, and how long would you feel that way?
... Now imagine that the telephone call is from your college president, who regrets to inform you (in surprisingly good English) that the Board of Regents has dissolved your department, revoked your appointment, and stored your books in little cardboard boxes in the hallway. How would you feel, and how long would you feel that way?
[What's the point of this example? Clarification required.]
References & BibliographyEdit
- Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2005). Affective forecasting: Knowing what to want. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 131-134.
- Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2003). Affective forecasting. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 35, pp. 345-411). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Wilson, T. D., Wheatley, T. P., Meyers, J. M., Gilbert, D. T., & Axsom, D. (2000). Focalism: A Source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 821-836.
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