Affective Forecasting and Psychological Distance: the Surprising Impact of Distant Events

Jane Ebert, University of Minnesota, USA
Tom Meyvis, New York University, USA
In 4 studies we examine the effect of psychological distance information on consumers’ predicted versus actual experiences. Predictors tended to accurately predict psychologically close hedonic experiences but underestimate the intensity of distant hedonic experiences. In particular, predictors underestimated the emotional impact of reading a story that is fictitious or historical (rather than real or recent) and of winning a prize that would be available later (rather than immediately). These results indicate that people tend to overestimate the dulling impact of psychological distance on their emotional experiences.
[ to cite ]:
Jane Ebert and Tom Meyvis (2009) ,"Affective Forecasting and Psychological Distance: the Surprising Impact of Distant Events", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 56-59.