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


Experience with family verbal conflict as a child can help in stressful situations as an adult
The holiday season gives people the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family each year. Sometimes these interactions can be stressful, especially around the Thanksgiving table where a heated debate can occur.

Sleep apnea linked to poor aerobic fitness
People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may have an intrinsic inability to burn high amounts of oxygen during strenuous aerobic exercise, according to a new study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Shared medical appointments increase contact time between women considering breast reduction and their surgeon
For women considering breast reduction surgery, initial evaluation at a shared medical appointment (SMA) provides excellent patient satisfaction in a more efficient clinic visit.

Climate Change Could Affect Future of Lake Michigan Basin
Climate change could lengthen the growing season, make soil drier and decrease winter snowpack in the Lake Michigan Basin by the turn of the century, among other hydrological effects.

Boy moms more social in chimpanzees
Nearly four decades of observations of Tanzanian chimpanzees has revealed that the mothers of sons are about 25 percent more social than the mothers of daughters. Boy moms were found to spend about two hours more per day with other chimpanzees than the girl moms did.

University of Kentucky reports HIV/AIDS drugs could be repurposed to treat AMD
A landmark study published today in the journal Science by an international group of scientists, led by the laboratory of Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor & vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky, reports that HIV/AIDS drugs that have been used for the last 30 years could be repurposed to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as other inflammatory disorders, because of a previously undiscovered intrinsic and inflammatory activity those drugs possess.

Self-regulation intervention boosts school readiness of at-risk children, study shows
An intervention that uses music and games to help preschoolers learn self-regulation skills is helping prepare at-risk children for kindergarten, a new study from Oregon State University shows.

The sound of status: People know high-power voices when they hear them
Being in a position of power can fundamentally change the way you speak, altering basic acoustic properties of the voice, and other people are able to pick up on these vocal cues to know who is really in charge, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Out of danger: A neural basis for avoiding threats
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have identified a key neuronal pathway that makes learning to avoid unpleasant situations possible. Published online in the November 20 issue of Neuron, the work shows that avoidance learning requires neural activity in the habenula representing changes in future expectations.

Exercise regimens offer little benefit for 1 in 5 people with type 2 diabetes
As many as one in five people with Type 2 diabetes do not see any improvement in blood sugar management when they engage in a supervised exercise regimen, according to a new scientific review published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
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,...

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 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...

Igniting Customer Connections: Fire Up Your Company's Growth By Multiplying Customer Experience & Engagement

Igniting Customer Connections: Fire Up Your Company's Growth By Multiplying Customer Experience & Engagement
by Andrew Frawley (Author)


A new data-driven approach to building customer relationships that fuel sustainable business growthIgniting Customer Connections explores how organizations of all sizes can build powerful and profitable customer relationships in a today's increasingly complex, fast-paced, and fragmented marketplace. Written by the president of one of the world's largest marketing firms, the book provides expert insights about connecting with customers effectively across all channels and over time. The central premise is a refreshingly different, evidence-based approach called Return On Experience and Engagement, or ROE2, which delivers a new way to inspire and measure customer connections-and improve business results.The traditional marketing campaign-a battle for attention with a clear launch date and...

Experience Sociology

Experience Sociology
by David Croteau (Author), William Hoynes (Author)


Make the familiar new. Experience Sociology empowers students to use the lenses of Culture, Structure, Power to see sociology everywhere. Bringing theory and sociological concepts together, Experience Sociology helps students move beyond an individual perspective to gain a sociological perspective. Experience Sociology engages students with a clear framework for understanding sociology based on three familiar concepts: Culture, Structure, and Power. For every topic in the book - from the family to the economy to the environment - students learn to recognize the effects of the culture that has taught them, see the structures that constrain or empower them, and notice how power operates at every level of society.

Work Experience (Schooled in Magic Book 4)

Work Experience (Schooled in Magic Book 4)
by Twilight Times Books


In the summer between Second and Third Year at Whitehall, Emily accompanies Lady Barb on her rounds of the Cairngorm Mountains bringing magical help to the locals and searching for new magicians. For Emily, tired and broken after the events of Study In Slaughter, it should be a chance to relax as well as a visit to a new part of the Nameless World, to put her responsibilities aside and just be herself.

But the locals aren't quite what she expects, with problems of their own, while Lady Barb is a different person away from Whitehall. As children start to go missing and evil things are abroad in the night, Emily discovers that a deadly plot is slowly bringing the mountain community to the brink of disaster ...and that her oldest enemies are about to make a very unwelcome...

Art as Experience

Art as Experience
by John Dewey (Author)


Based on John Dewey's lectures on esthetics, delivered as the first William James Lecturer at Harvard in 1932, Art as Experience has grown to be considered internationally as the most distinguished work ever written by an American on the formal structure and characteristic effects of all the arts: architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and literature.

Even This I Get to Experience

Even This I Get to Experience
by Norman Lear (Author)


"This is, flat out, one of the best Hollywood memoirs ever written… An absolute treasure." --Booklist (STARRED)

In my ninety-plus years I’ve lived a multitude of lives. In the course of all these lives, I had a front-row seat at the birth of television; wrote, produced, created, or developed more than a hundred shows; had nine on the air at the same time; founded the 300,000-member liberal advocacy group People For the American Way; was labeled the “no. 1 enemy of the American family” by Jerry Falwell; made it onto Richard Nixon’s “Enemies List”; was presented with the National Medal of the Arts by President Clinton; purchased an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and toured it for ten years in all fifty states; blew a fortune in a series of bad...

Facebook Logout: Experiences and Reasons to Leave it

Facebook Logout: Experiences and Reasons to Leave it
by Silens


Chapter 1: Musings about Facebook
The Quality of Relationships
Privacy Issues
Children
Facebook Changes the Concept of Friendship
The Inner Reasons to Leave
The Logout Process
Chapter 2: Logout experiences
All Your Time or Nothing
This Time I Really Want to Leave it for Good
Bad Energy
Amplifier of an Inner Discomfort
Looking Through the Keyhole
An Affection-Compensating Tool
Boring to Death
Obsessive-Compulsive
From Village to Global Village
Reliving my Earlier Nightmares
Political Control
Not a Broad Communication
You Always Have to Feed the Beast
A Narrowed Down Tunnel-Vision Style of Contact


Hard Lessons (A Learning Experience Book 2)

Hard Lessons (A Learning Experience Book 2)


Fifty years after Steve Stuart and his friends captured an alien starship, the Solar Union is a thriving interstellar power, while Earth is increasingly backwards and falling into barbarism. For two youngsters from Earth, the Solar Union offers the only chance they will ever have to make something of their lives ...

But humanity’s involvement in Galactic affairs has not gone unnoticed. The enigmatic masters of the universe have put together a fleet to crush the upstart humans before they can threaten the precarious balance of power. Pushed to the limits, the Solar Union must fight to defend its freedom – and the existence of the human race.

[Like my other self-published Kindle books, Hard Lessons is DRM-free. You may reformat it as you choose. There is a...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com