Why We Don't Learn to Accurately Forecast Our Feelings: How the Misremembering of Our Predictions Blinds Us to Our Past Forecasting Errors

Rebecca K. Ratner, University of Maryland
Tom Meyvis, New York University
Jonathan Levav, Columbia University
Why do people persist in making erroneous affective forecasts? Our results suggest that this persistence is partly caused by people's biased recollections of their initial predictions. Individuals remembered their affective forecasts regarding both negative (e.g., preferred candidate losing the 2004 Presidential election) and positive events (e.g., favorite team reaching the 2005 Final Four) as less extreme than they actually were. Furthermore, even when individuals were able to accurately recall their forecasts, they did not spontaneously bring these to mind, and thus did not learn from the discrepancy between their affective forecasts and their actual experience unless prompted to do so.
[ to cite ]:
Rebecca K. Ratner, Tom Meyvis, and Jonathan Levav (2007) ,"Why We Don't Learn to Accurately Forecast Our Feelings: How the Misremembering of Our Predictions Blinds Us to Our Past Forecasting Errors", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 547-550.