affective forecasting

Predicting how one will feel should a particular event or outcome unfold.
affective forecast n.
affective forecaster n.
Example Citations:
How we forecast our feelings, and whether those predictions match our future emotional states, had never been the stuff of laboratory research. But in scores of experiments, Gilbert, Wilson, Kahneman and Loewenstein have made a slew of observations and conclusions that undermine a number of fundamental assumptions: namely, that we humans understand what we want and are adept at improving our well-being — that we are good at maximizing our utility, in the jargon of traditional economics. Further, their work on prediction raises some unsettling and somewhat more personal questions. To understand affective forecasting, as Gilbert has termed these studies, is to wonder if everything you have ever thought about life choices, and about happiness, has been at the least somewhat naive and, at worst, greatly mistaken.
— Jon Gertner, "The Futile Pursuit of Happiness," The New York Times, September 7, 2003
SUSAN FISKE: Can we become more accurate in affective forecasting?
DANIEL GILBERT: Probably, but first we should ask whether or not we want to. It's very easy to see somebody making a logical error and say, "Well, you ought not to have made it." But logical errors can serve an important purpose in human cognition. Imagine a world in which some people realize that external events have much less impact than others believe they do. Those who make that realization might not be particularly motivated to change the external events. But one of the reasons we protect our children, for example, is that we believe we would be devastated if they were harmed or killed. So these predictions may be very effective in motivating us to do the things we as a society need to do, even though they might be inaccurate on an individual level. Anyone who wanted to cure affective forecasters of their inferential ills would be wise to measure both the costs and benefits of forecasting errors.
— "Forecasting the future: why our inability to predict emotion may be beneficial," Psychology Today, November, 2002
Earliest Citation:
People are generally unaware of the operation of the system of cognitive mechanisms that ameliorate their experience of negative affect (the psychological immune system), and thus they tend to overestimate the duration of their affective reactions to negative events. This tendency was demonstrated in 6 studies in which participants overestimated the duration of their affective reactions to the dissolution of a romantic relationship, the failure to achieve tenure, an electoral defeat, negative personality feedback, an account of a child's death, and being rejected by a prospective employer.
— Daniel T Gilbert et al., "Immune neglect: A source of durability bias in affective forecasting," Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, September 1, 1998
Related Words: Category:
More information is available at

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Affective forecasting — is the forecasting of one s affect (emotional state) in the future. This kind of prediction is affected by various kinds of cognitive biases, i.e. systematic errors of thought. Daniel Gilbert of the department of social psychology at Harvard… …   Wikipedia

  • affective computing — n. Computer technology that uses biometric sensors to detect physical characteristics that relate to moods and emotions; the computer simulation of moods and emotions. Example Citations: Imagine if a computer could sense if a user was having… …   New words

  • The psychological immune system — Understanding the Psychological Immune System The psychological immune system is a concept examined in the discipline of psychology. It is described as the system that is activated when humans are faced with potential or actual negative events in …   Wikipedia

  • Psychologisches Immunsystem — Das Psychologische Immunsystem bezeichnet eine Reihe von verzerrenden kognitiven Mechanismen, die einen Schutz vor der Erfahrung stark negativer Emotionen bewirken.[1][2] Die Funktion des Immunsystems basiert auf dem Ignorieren, Transformieren… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Attitude change — Breckler and Wiggins (1992) define attitudes as “mental and neural representations, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence on behavior” (p. 409). Attitudes and attitude objects are functions of cognitive,… …   Wikipedia

  • Emotion — For other uses, see Emotion (disambiguation). Emotional redirects here. For other uses, see Emotional (disambiguation). Emotions Affection Anger Angst Annoyance Anxiety Apathy Arousal Awe Bo …   Wikipedia

  • Attitude (psychology) — Attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual s like or dislike for an item. Attitudes are positive, negative or neutral views of an attitude object : i.e. a person, behaviour or event. People can also be ambivalent towards a …   Wikipedia

  • List of psychology topics — This page aims to list all topics related to psychology. This is so that those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes in the sidebar. It is also to see the gaps in Wikipedia s coverage of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Daniel Kahneman — Born March 5, 1934 (1934 03 05) (age 77) Tel Aviv, Israel …   Wikipedia

  • Impact bias — The impact bias, a form of which is the durability bias, in affective forecasting, is the tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of future feeling states. In other words, people seem to think that if disaster strikes it… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.