Experiences extended across time: Evaluation of moments and episodes

Experiences extended across time: Evaluation of moments and episodes Intuitions relating to outcomes extended over time are examined. Utility integration is proposed as a normative rule for the evaluation of extended episodes. In Experiment 1, subjects explicitly compared aversive experiences of varying durations. By several measures, disutility was a marginally decreasing function of episode duration, even for experiences that were thought to become increasingly aversive. This pattern is a qualitative violation of the integration rule. In Experiment 2, subjects made global evaluations of a hypothetical person's aversive experiences, on the basis of a series of subjective ratings of discomfort made at periodic intervals. The results showed an extreme sensitivity to improving or deteriorating trend and a striking neglect of duration. The final moments of an extended episode appear to exert a strong influence on the overall judgment. This leads to violations of monotonicity when adding some moments of moderate pain reduces judgments of global aversiveness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Behavioral Decision Making Wiley

Experiences extended across time: Evaluation of moments and episodes

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1992 Wiley Subscription Services
ISSN
0894-3257
eISSN
1099-0771
DOI
10.1002/bdm.3960050303
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Intuitions relating to outcomes extended over time are examined. Utility integration is proposed as a normative rule for the evaluation of extended episodes. In Experiment 1, subjects explicitly compared aversive experiences of varying durations. By several measures, disutility was a marginally decreasing function of episode duration, even for experiences that were thought to become increasingly aversive. This pattern is a qualitative violation of the integration rule. In Experiment 2, subjects made global evaluations of a hypothetical person's aversive experiences, on the basis of a series of subjective ratings of discomfort made at periodic intervals. The results showed an extreme sensitivity to improving or deteriorating trend and a striking neglect of duration. The final moments of an extended episode appear to exert a strong influence on the overall judgment. This leads to violations of monotonicity when adding some moments of moderate pain reduces judgments of global aversiveness.

Journal

Journal of Behavioral Decision MakingWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1992

Keywords: ;

References

  • Predicting a changing taste: Do people know what they will like?
    Kahneman, D.; Snell, J.

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