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


Metagenomics pathogen detection tool could change how infectious diseases are diagnosed
Scientists at the University of Utah, ARUP Laboratories, and IDbyDNA, Inc., have developed ultra-fast, meta-genomics analysis software called Taxonomer that dramatically improves the accuracy and speed of pathogen detection.

Mimicking deep sleep brain activity improves memory
It is not surprising that a good night's sleep improves our ability to remember what we learned during the day.

Researchers aiming at improved early diagnosis of arthrosis
Arthrosis, a degenerative disease that affects the joints, becomes more common as people become older. The disease is becoming increasingly common among older people in Finland as well. Arthrosis is currently the subject of research in a number of projects funded by the Academy of Finland.

Researchers identify critical factors that determine drought vulnerability of wheat, maize
Researchers led by Lixin Wang, assistant professor of earth sciences in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, have identified critical information about the environmental variables and agronomic factors that determine the vulnerability of maize and wheat production to drought.

Spring snow a no-go?
Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new University of Utah study.

Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer
Men with prostate cancer who are under close medical surveillance reported significantly greater resilience and less anxiety over time after receiving an intervention of mindfulness meditation, according to a recently published pilot study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The dying child: Room for improvement in end-of-life care
Many pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists believe that their clinical care extends from treating ill children through end-of-life care.

Children's social and academic functioning is impeded when their families move more often
America is a mobile society, with most children and their families moving once or more during childhood. Moving can bring new opportunities if families relocate to safer, more comfortable homes, or to communities with better schools.

Anemia negatively affects recovery from traumatic brain injuries
Approximately half of patients hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries are anemic, according to recent studies, but anemia's effects on the recovery of these patients is not clear.

Is aging inevitable? Not necessarily for sea urchins
Sea urchins are remarkable organisms. They can quickly regrow damaged spines and feet.
More Experience Current Events and Experience News Articles

Experience Psychology

Experience Psychology
by Laura King (Author)


NOTE:This is a standalone Book.

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....

Experience

Experience
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, witty, and...

Experience

Experience
by Meg Kerr (Author)


This sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice spirits the reader away to Regency England, beginning as Darcy and Elizabeth arrive at Pemberley on their honeymoon. But Elizabeth had captured the heart of more than one man…what will that man’s swift arrival at Pemberley mean for the Darcys? Lady Catherine de Bourgh is intent on ensnaring a husband for her daughter scorned by Darcy; and Caroline Bingley, also rejected by Darcy, is determined to achieve greater importance in the world through marriage to an aristocrat—yet who is that tall, dark man who is “not quite a gentleman”? Kitty is turning into a woman, and her fine dark eyes are turned towards one who is out of her reach, while Jane and Bingley who had achieved perfect happiness on their marriage begin to find it...

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...

Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing
by Robert Rose (Author), Carla Johnson (Author)


There is a new era of marketing upon us. The time of reach, frequency, and campaign-oriented approaches is over. And if businesses don’t evolve into this new era, they may find themselves on the wrong side of history. World-renowned marketing experts Robert Rose and Carla Johnson have teamed up and synthesized 5 years of research with global brands into a set of “better practices” that weave together both the “why” and the “how” of navigating this new landscape. By placing strategy before structure, Robert and Carla illustrate WHY the idea of Content Creation Management will be a core discipline within tomorrow’s marketing strategy and HOW content-driven experiences can be created, managed, scaled, promoted, and measured in today’s business. If the goal for businesses...

The Experience: The 5 Principles of Disney Service and Relationship Excellence

The Experience: The 5 Principles of Disney Service and Relationship Excellence
by Bruce Loeffler (Author), Brian Church (Author)


Bring Disney-level customer experience to your organization with insider guidance The Experience is a unique guide to mastering the art of customer service and service relationships, based on the principles employed at the renowned leader in customer experience ­— the Walt Disney Company. Co-Author Bruce Loeffler spent ten years at Disney World overseeing service excellence, and has partnered with Brian T. Church in this book, to show you how to bring that same level of care and value to your own organization. Based on the I. C.A.R.E. model, the five principles — Impression, Connection, Attitude, Response, and Exceptionals — give you a solid framework upon which to raise the level of your customer experience. You will learn how to identify your customer service issues and what...

Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams

Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams
by James Kalbach (Author)


Customers who have inconsistent, broken experiences with products and services are understandably frustrated. But it’s worse when people inside these companies can’t pinpoint the problem because they’re too focused on business processes. This practical book shows your company how to use alignment diagrams to turn valuable customer observations into actionable insight. With this unique tool, you can visually map your existing customer experience and envision future solutions.Product and brand managers, marketing specialists, and business owners will learn how experience diagramming can help determine where business goals and customer perspectives intersect. Once you’re armed with this data, you can provide users with real value.Mapping Experiences is divided into three...

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Author)


Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most

The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most
by Peter Felten (Author), John N. Gardner (Author), Charles C. Schroeder (Author), Leo M. Lambert (Author), Betsy O. Barefoot (Author), Freeman A. Hrabowski (Author)


A clear, practical framework for getting higher education back on track The Undergraduate Experience is a guide for significantly improving student learning and institutional performance in the rapidly changing world of higher education. Written by recognized experts in undergraduate education, this book encourages college and university leaders to rethink current practices that fragment the student experience, and to focus on creating powerful, integrated undergraduate learning for all students. Drawing from their own deep experience and the latest research, the authors reveal key principles that enable institutional change and enhance student outcomes in any higher education setting. Coverage includes high-impact practices for engagement, the importance of strategic leadership, the...

The Human Experience: A Guide to Personal Fulfillment, Meaningful Worth and Ultimate Awareness

The Human Experience: A Guide to Personal Fulfillment, Meaningful Worth and Ultimate Awareness
by Corey Gladwell (Author)


True growth comes from moments of self-realization. These peak experiences shatter the confines of our minds and extend us further than our perception previously allowed. My hope and intent for this book is that it will help you to move forward on your personal path and to experience more of these occasions of awakening, realization, and enlightenment. To make fulfillment your permanent state, to leave meaningful worth with you wherever you go, to bring ultimate awareness to your everyday experience. To encourage and trigger more of these moments of deeper fulfillment and lasting worth, all chapters provide short, easy-to-read contemplations, each followed by a question to ask yourself. Every contemplation is intended to provoke thought, to frame a thought process for its accompanying...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com