Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Someone else's experience can make you happy

March 25, 2009
Researchers say another person's experience can help you make better decisions

Researchers say they know what makes you happy. Ask a total stranger. That's the conclusion of a new study led by Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert that says if people want to know how much they will enjoy an experience, they're better off knowing how much someone else enjoyed it than knowing about the experience itself.

"Rather than closing our eyes and imagining the future, we should examine the experience of those who have been there," says Gilbert explaining the upshot of the research findings.

Gilbert and colleagues studied how people make decisions based on predictions about how much pleasure, satisfaction, utility or reward those decisions will bring them. For example, they say, people make decisions about which home to buy, which person to marry, which medical treatment to accept, and so on by estimating the hedonic value each of these experiences will afford.

But, poor decisions often result from people's difficulty predicting what they will enjoy and how much they will enjoy it. Often bad decisions come from a person imagining their reactions in a given circumstance and attempts to improve such decision making has generally has been unsuccessful.

So the researchers eliminated imagination from decision making in their experiments by asking people to predict how much they would enjoy a future event about which they knew absolutely nothing. Some subjects only were told how much a total stranger enjoyed the same event and made exceptionally accurate predictions.

In one experiment, for example, women predicted how much they would enjoy a "speed date" with a man. Some women learned nothing about the man, except how much another woman, whom they had never met, enjoyed dating him. Other women read the man's personal profile and saw his photograph.

The women who learned about a previous woman's experience did a much better job of predicting their own enjoyment of the speed date than those who studied the man's profile and photograph. Interestingly, both groups mistakenly expected the profile and photo to lead to greater accuracy and held to that belief even after the experiment ended.

"People do not realize what a powerful source of information another person's experience can be," says Gilbert. "People believe that the best way to predict how happy they will be in the future is to know what their future holds, but what they should really want to know is how happy those who've been to the future actually turned out to be."

National Science Foundation


Related Experience Current Events and Experience News Articles


A tool is created to improve the sustainability of the transport sector
Transport is responsible for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, so the European Commission has developed various strategies and directives designed to reduce dependence on oil, and the transport gas emissions responsible for this effect, thus leading to an increase in air quality in cities.

For drivers with telescopic lenses, driving experience and training affect road test results
For people with low vision who need bioptic telescopic glasses to drive, previous driving experience and the need for more training hours are the main factors affecting performance on driver's license road tests, according to a study in the April issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

WSU researchers find 'exploding head syndrome' more common in young people than thought
Washington State University researchers have found that an unexpectedly high percentage of young people experience "exploding head syndrome," a psychological phenomenon in which they are awakened by abrupt loud noises, even the sensation of an explosion in their head.

A dynamic simulation approach to support emergency decision making on urban public safety
Due to global warming, rapid urbanization and urban sprawl, the occurrence of natural disaster, environmental pollution, social unrest and unexpected urban emergency has been increasing in recent years.

Study reports excellent outcomes among HIV+ kidney transplant recipients
HIV+ kidney transplant recipients who are not infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have similar kidney and patient survival rates as HIV- recipients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Vitamin D helps immune cells prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes
Altered signaling through the vitamin D receptor on certain immune cells may play a role in causing the chronic inflammation that leads to cardiometabolic disease, the combination of type 2 diabetes and heart disease that is the most common cause of illness and death in Western populations.

Bright new hope for beating deadly hereditary stomach and breast cancers
Deadly familial stomach and lobular breast cancers could be successfully treated at their earliest stages, or even prevented, by existing drugs that have been newly identified by cancer genetics researchers at New Zealand's University of Otago.

Pesticides not the sole culprit in honey bee colony declines
Colony declines are a major threat to the world's honey bees, as well as the many wild plants and crops the bees pollinate.

Are antipsychotic drugs more dangerous to dementia patients than we think?
Drugs aimed at quelling the behavior problems of dementia patients may also hasten their deaths more than previously realized, a new study finds.

Brain networks differ among those with severe schizophrenia, CAMH study shows
People with a severe form of schizophrenia have major differences in their brain networks compared to others with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and healthy individuals, a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows.
More Experience Current Events and Experience News Articles

Experience: A Memoir

Experience: A Memoir
by Martin Amis (Author)


Martin Amis is one of the most gifted and innovative writers of our time. With Experience, he discloses a private life every bit as unique and fascinating as his bestselling novels.

The son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis explores his relationship with this father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley's life. He also examines the life and legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who was abducted and murdered by one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers. Experience also deconstructs the changing literary scene, including Amis' portraits of Saul Bellow, Salman Rushdie, Allan Bloom, Philip Larkin, and Robert Graves, among others. Not since Nabokov's Speak, Memory has such an implausible life been recorded by such an inimitable talent. Profound,...

Transformative Experience

Transformative Experience
by L. A. Paul (Author)


As we live our lives, we repeatedly make decisions that shape our future circumstances and affect the sort of person we will be. When choosing whether to start a family, or deciding on a career, we often think we can assess the options by imagining what different experiences would be like for us. L. A. Paul argues that, for choices involving dramatically new experiences, we are confronted by the brute fact that we can know very little about our subjective futures. This has serious implications for our decisions. If we make life choices in the way we naturally and intuitively want to--by considering what we care about, and what our future selves will be like if we choose to have the experience--we only learn what we really need to know after we have already committed ourselves. If we try...

The Experience Economy, Updated Edition

The Experience Economy, Updated Edition
by B. Joseph Pine II (Author), James H. Gilmore (Author)


In 1999, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore offered this idea to readers as a new way to think about connecting with customers and securing their loyalty. As a result, their book The Experience Economy is now a classic, embraced by readers and companies worldwide and read in more than a dozen languages.

And though the world has changed in many ways since then, the way to a customer's heart has not. In fact, the idea of staging experiences to leave a memorable—and lucrative—impression is now more relevant than ever. With an ongoing torrent of brands attacking consumers from all sides, how do you make yours stand out?

Welcome to the new Experience Economy. With this fully updated edition of the book, Pine and Gilmore make an even stronger case that experience is the missing...

Experience Human Development, 12th Edition

Experience Human Development, 12th Edition
by Diane E. Papalia (Author), Ruth Duskin Feldman (Author), Gabriela Martorell (Author)


Experience Human Development 12e allows you to:

Experience a program that connects students to the real world. Our Milestones video program allows students to witness real life as it unfolds via a customizable, assignable and assessible platform. Additionally, our new Research in Action feature highlights interesting and timely topics.

Experience the diversity of the human experience. The 12th edition of this classic best-seller retains the extensive and integrated cross-cultural and multicultural coverage as previous editions.

Experience a program that helps students navigate the vast amount of material in the course. Now with Connect Lifespan, Papalia 12e allows students to connect with real life and the real world. Connect is the only integrated...

The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
by Matthew Dixon (Author), Nick Toman (Author), Rick DeLisi (Author)


Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty is with service so good, so over the top, that it surprises and delights. But what if everyone is wrong?
In their acclaimed bestseller The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and his colleagues at CEB busted many longstanding myths about sales. Now they’veturned their research and analysis to a new vital business subject—customer loyalty—with a new book that turns the conventional wisdom on its head. 

The idea that companies must delight customers by exceeding service expectations is so entrenched that managers rarely even question it. They devote untold time, energy, and resources to trying to dazzle people and inspire their undying loyalty. Yet CEB’s careful research over five years and tens...

Experience Psychology

Experience Psychology
by Laura King (Author)


Do you want your students to just take psychology or to experience psychology?

Experience Psychology is a complete learning system that empowers students to personally, critically, and actively experience the impact of psychology in everyday life. Experience Psychology is about, well, experience—our own behaviors; our relationships at home and in our communities, in school and at work; and our interactions in different learning environments. Grounded in meaningful real-world contexts, Experience Psychology’s contemporary examples, personalized author notes, and applied exercises speak directly to students, allowing them to engage with psychology and to learn verbally, visually, and experientially—by reading, seeing, and doing. With the Experience Psychology learning...

Courted by Experience (In Hyacinth Book 5)

Courted by Experience (In Hyacinth Book 5)
by Lazy Day


Celia Compton is thrilled to be back in Hyacinth where she lived until she was eight. A year of courting to meet her prince sounds lovely, especially when combined with loving discipline. Unfortunately, sometimes reality doesn’t quite meet up with fantasy. The man she wants, Marcus Hotham, seems inclined not to court and yet the more she sees him, the more the rest of the guys just don’t measure up. As Celia learns more about Hyacinth life and gains friendships for the first time in over a decade, it becomes more like home. When Marcus finally asks to court her, his four-year-old daughter Vanna in tow, she’s thrilled. Everything is perfect, until her mother, who hates discipline and Hyacinth, comes to town and finds out about Marcus.

Now, with the possibility of being...

The Experience

The Experience
by A. E. Charles (Author), Osayame Gaius-Obaseki (Editor)


For the last four years A.E.Charles has been writing poems about his college experience, which includes what he has learned about his faith, relationships, society, family, and himself. Through this process, he has grown as a person, and he believes the college experience helped him discover his identity and true purpose. His hope is that this book will help motivate, inspire, and challenge the way you think about life. He also hopes it inspires you to follow your dreams and live a fulfilling life.

The Varieties of Religious Experience

The Varieties of Religious Experience
by William James (Author)


The Varieties of Religious Experience is a work by William James now brought to you in this new edition of the timeless classic.

True Disaster: Real life Stories of Hurricane Katrina Survivors - The Ultimate Survival Guide for Beginners (true stories of real like experiences, survival ... survival books, hurricane, life experience)

True Disaster: Real life Stories of Hurricane Katrina Survivors - The Ultimate Survival Guide for Beginners (true stories of real like experiences, survival ... survival books, hurricane, life experience)


True Disaster
Real life Stories of Hurricane Katrina Survivors – The Ultimate Survival Guide for Beginners

Who wouldn’t forget the devastating tragedy that in 2005 Hurricane Katrina delivered to the
Gulf Coast in the United States of America. Thousands of lives were lost and property destroyed
by this True Disaster. Even though people knew it was coming no one was really prepared for
the immensity of the devastation.

Indeed, it was one of the most impressionable storms that will be remembered as a
catastrophic World History event.
People from around the globe tuned in to their television to watch the unfolding of this event,
but not many know the true story behind the scenes and how it affected the families and...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com