Recollections of Pleasure and Pain: When Losers Are Motivated to Edit Their Retrospective Evaluations

Elizabeth Cowley, University of Sydney
Colin Farrell, University of Sydney
Previous research has shown that retrospective evaluations of purely painful or purely pleasant experiences are constructed on the basis of a few select moments of an experience. In this research, we investigate the conditions under which people use the peak win, the peak loss, and the trend at the end (winning, losing) to evaluate an experience including both painful and pleasant moments. The results show that losers with a high illusion of control score remember a more positive experience than losers with a low score. These losers edit their evaluation by focusing on the peak win. Winners, on the other hand, use the amount won in their retrospective evaluation, they do not appear to edit their memory of the gambling experience.
[ to cite ]:
Elizabeth Cowley and Colin Farrell (2007) ,"Recollections of Pleasure and Pain: When Losers Are Motivated to Edit Their Retrospective Evaluations", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 749.