Monday, April 14, 2008

Hilarious Journal Articles #94: Roads Not Taken Disappear More Quickly Than We Realize

Potato ChipsImage via WikipediaWhy People Misimagine the Future: The Problem of Attentional Collapse:
Gilbert presents the results of four experiments, all involving predicted versus actual enjoyment of a very simple experience—eating potato chips. In three of the experiments, participants predicted how much they would like eating potato chips before, after, or instead of eating a much better food (chocolate) or a much worse food (sardines). They then ate the chips and reported how much they liked them. The results showed that the chocolate and the sardines had a large impact on participants’ predictions, but no impact whatsoever on their actual experiences. Those participants who compared the chips to sardines overestimated how much they’d enjoy eating the chips, and those who compared them to chocolate underestimated how much they’d enjoy eating the chips.
The collection of hilarious journal articles is here.

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