What Is Affective Forecasting?

Affective forecasting is predicting how you will feel in the future. As it turns out, we're terrible at it. We're not good judges of what will make us happy, and we have trouble seeing through the filter of the now. Our feelings in the present blind us to how we'll make decisions in the future, when we might be feeling very differently.

Recent Posts on Affective Forecasting

Why Some People Think the Apocalypse Is Coming Soon

"Armageddonists" believe that Bible or other religious prophecies about the 'End Time' must be taken literally, and seem to expect nuclear war to fulfill these prophecies.

On World Suicide Prevention Day - Can Your Words Kill You?

One study focusing on eminent people from the 20th Century found a suicide rate of 5%, hundreds of times higher than the suicide rate in the UK's general population.

Attraction & Infidelity: Can 'Eye Candy' Always Be Resisted?

When the Ashley Madison website, apparently promoting infidelity, was hacked revealing just how many people appear involved in relationship betrayal, the media appeared scandalised at the prevalence of infidelity - or at least the appetite for it. However psychologists have recently posed the opposite question - why is there in fact not more infidelity?

The Effects of Crying

Although crying results in sympathetic stimulation, it may help by eliciting empathy of others. Additionally, people recall feeling better after having cried.

After a Suicide Tragedy, Will There Be Copycats?

A recently published study entitled 'One followed by many?--Long-term effects of a celebrity suicide on the number of suicidal acts on the German railway net', found the number of railway suicidal acts, in the following two weeks, more than doubled in Germany.

The Persistent Stigma of Hearing Loss

By Katherine Bouton on August 06, 2015 What I Hear
Twenty-five years after the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the stigma of hearing loss persists. Some thoughts about why that might be.

How Troubled Kids are like Tornadoes

A book about tornado science mirrors concerns with juveniles for whom pressure can explode into utter destruction.

Why You Shouldn’t Overthink Your Relationship

A common piece of advice when you’re trying to make an important decision is to generate a pros and cons list. You think “Should I break up with my boyfriend”, and then you generate a list of your guy’s faults and assets. It turns out this strategy is remarkably ineffective in illuminating your true feelings about your partner. But why?

Who's Best at Predicting the Future? (and How to Get Better)

Some people are surprisingly good at predicting the future. Are you one of them?

Why We Care So Much About What Others Think of Us

By Peg Streep on May 05, 2015 Tech Support
Are we hardwired to crave status and to respond to people in programmed ways depending on their status? Is status about what money can buy or something else? A close look at what the research shows...

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

4 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Communication

The way we feel is, for better or worse, reflected by our nonverbal communication. The way you reveal, understand, and manage your emotions can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful interactions from casual to intimate long-term relationships.

Why Counting on Your Dreams to Come True May Not Be Worth It

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on September 24, 2014 Statistical Life
Failures of affective forecasting are associated with overlooking the details of the future. But affective forecasting at all is associated with overlooking the details of the present.

False Consciousness of Happiness

So you think you know how to be happy? Think again and feel again.

The Pursuit of Liberty

By AJ LeVan, MAPP on July 03, 2013 Flourish!
It's not that we've missed the mark on happiness as much as we've given up our personal freedom to strive for someone else's idea of happiness. Here are 5 steps to begin regaining your freedom today!

What Is the Secret to a Happy and Meaningful Life?

Recently I’ve been contemplating giving up on the modern world and moving to a cabin in the woods. Maybe I'd find more meaning and happiness living the simple life. But research says I should think twice before giving it all up, because how I feel inside may be a bigger determinant of my happiness than any external factor such as the view from my window. Here's why...

My Quibble With Facebook

The reason I rarely take any pleasure in Facebook is that it "ordinizes" our friends, family members, acquaintances, and colleagues. It takes unique individuals who have intriguing hidden sides and qualities and turns them into ordinary, unremarkable, and sometimes even boring people.

The Taste of Revenge May Only Be Bittersweet

Is it possible to cheat, lie, and deceive with grace and composure? Is it true that to seek revenge you must dig two graves, one of them being for yourself? Though we may be tempted to right the wrongs against us, forgiveness may be the only path to serenity.

Do You Underestimate the Joys of Nature?

Why are we surprised at how good it feels to take a hike? A new experiment demonstrates that people significantly underestimate the psychological boost they would get from taking a walk in a natural environment.

Peering Through The Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole offers a strikingly authentic portrait of what it's like to cope with unimaginable loss.

Four Reasons Smart People Make Stupid Dating Decisions

By Linda Young Ph.D. on December 10, 2010 Love in Limbo
Every guy or girl in a bar looks more irresistible when you're sex or relationship-starved.

Your Future Happiness Depends Less On the Present Than You Might Think

By Art Markman Ph.D. on November 12, 2010 Ulterior Motives
You make a lot of decisions based on how you think they will make you feel in the future. The evidence is pretty clear, though, that big positive and negative events don't have an enormous impact on people's happiness. Why do these errors persist?

Post-election depression or elation? Don't get too distraught or jubilant!

Tuesday's midterm elections triggered a seismic shift not only in Congress but in the emotions of so many voters throughout the country as well. However, the forecasts of protracted "doom and gloom" among Democrats or "happy days are here again" among Republicans are probably too strong.

The Psychological Immune System 2: When It’s Healthy to Be Antisocial

Can a mere sneeze make you closed-minded and unsociable? A recent paper in Psychological Science reports two experiments exploring how thoughts of disease trigger social avoidance at multiple levels.  

What (whom) women want

Women are not immune to the pull of conformity when it comes to choosing a partner. This is good news for men who have already attracted women, and bad news for those who have not.

Buy Now, Pay Later: New Year's Resolutions, Self-deception and Procrastination

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on December 23, 2009 Don't Delay
You've got to love New Year's resolutions. The self-righteous act makes us feel good now, but we pay later. In fact, I think these resolutions are a form of culturally-scripted procrastination that actually results in greater self-regulatory failure.

The limits of self-knowledge

It's pretty uncontroversial to say that there are some things people are not very good at knowing about themselves. It's not easy to know how funny you are, or whether people find you charming. But surely there are some things you know beyond a doubt, like how happy you are or how you're feeling right now. Or do you?

How to Overcome Obstacles to Goal Pursuit When That Obstacle

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on March 31, 2009 Don't Delay
We've all seen it, if only in the movies - a coach detailing the plays for the football team. Deliberate strategies to get around obstacles to the goal. But what happens when the obstacle is you? What's your game plan?