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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 University and other researchers in the field, such as Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia and George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University, have studied these cognitive biases and given them names such as "empathy gap" and "impact bias".

Examples of the impact bias include over-estimating emotional reactions to Valentine's Day, football games, elections, movie clips[1] and the reactions of juries to criminal trials [2].

Imagine that one morning your telephone rings and you find yourself speaking with the King of Sweden, who informs you in surprisingly good English that you have been selected as this year’s recipient of a Nobel prize. How would you feel, and how long would you feel that way?

... Now imagine that the telephone call is from your college president, who regrets to inform you (in surprisingly good English) that the Board of Regents has dissolved your department, revoked your appointment, and stored your books in little cardboard boxes in the hallway. How would you feel, and how long would you feel that way?[3]

[What's the point of this example? Clarification required.]

See also[edit | edit source]

References & Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  1. [1]
  2. Blumenthal, J.A. (2005). Law and the Emotions: The problems of affective forecasting. Indiana Law Journal 80.
  3. Gilbert, D.T. et al. (1998). Immune neglect: A source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 75.

Key texts[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Papers[edit | edit source]

  • Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2005). Affective forecasting: Knowing what to want. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 131-134.
  • Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2003). Affective forecasting. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 35, pp. 345-411). San Diego: Academic Press.
  • Wilson, T. D., Wheatley, T. P., Meyers, J. M., Gilbert, D. T., & Axsom, D. (2000). Focalism: A Source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 821-836.

Additional material[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

Aspects of Emotion studied
Introduction | |Animal emotionality | List of emotions | Emotional abuse | Emotional adjustment | Emotional bias | Emotional content | Emotional control | Emotional development | Emotional distance | Emotional exhaustion | Emotional immaturity | Emotional forecasting | Emotional intelligence | Emotional maturity | Emotions and culture | Emotion and decision making | Emotion and memory | Emotional responses Emotional security |Emotional stability | Emotional trauma |Emotionality | Expressed emotion |
Theories of emotion
James-Lange theory | Cannon Bard theory |Robert Plutchik's theory of emotion | Two factor theory of emotion |
Physiology of emotion
Affective neuroscience | Neurobiology of emotions | [[]] | [[]] |
Emotion in clinical settings
Anxiety | Clinical depression | Emotionally disturbed | Emotional instability | Fear | Guilt | Shame |
Assessing emotion
Stroop test | [[]] | [[]] |
Treating emotional problems
CBT | Psychotherapy |
Prominant workers in emotion
William James | Paul Ekman | Robert Plutchik | Stanley Schachter | Daniel Siegel | [[]] |

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