Control and Happiness: Knowing About the Future Hurts the Present

Ilona Friedman, Columbia University, USA
Simona Botti, London Business School, UK
Sheena S. Iyengar, Columbia University, USA
Elona Gavazi, Columbia University Medical Center, USA
Four studies including vignettes, laboratory, and field experiments show that people want to know about an undesirable future event (i.e., the development of an incurable genetic illness) because this knowledge increases perceptions of personal control. In contrast, knowing about an undesirable reduces present perceived control and satisfaction.
[ to cite ]:
Ilona Friedman, Simona Botti, Sheena S. Iyengar, and Elona Gavazi (2014) ,"Control and Happiness: Knowing About the Future Hurts the Present", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 42, eds. June Cotte and Stacy Wood, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 65-69.