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ERIC Number: EJ867028
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1076-898X
My Imagination versus Your Feelings: Can Personal Affective Forecasts Be Improved by Knowing Other Peoples' Emotions?
Walsh, Emma; Ayton, Peter
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, v15 n4 p351-360 2009
A proposed remedy for biased affective forecasts is to base judgments on the actual feelings of people (surrogates) currently experiencing the event, rather than using imagination which conjures an inaccurate vision of the future. Gilbert et al. (2009) forced people to use surrogate reports by withholding all event information, resulting in better predictions. However, in life surrogate information rarely supplants event information--can people effectively integrate both types of information into their judgments? In five studies, respondents predicted the impact of a health state on their own happiness. Respondents incorporated surrogate information into their judgments both in the presence and absence of event information. However, they inappropriately discounted other people's experiences as a valid predictor of their own--particularly in the presence of event information--and imagined their happiness would be different to surrogates' happiness. Excluding preexisting event knowledge, changing the size of the surrogate sample, or increasing the size of the response scale did not alter the adjustment. Although surrogate information improved affective forecasts, its influence was diminished by the presence of event information. (Contains 2 figures, 4 tables and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom