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

12 Predictions for 2050

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in How To Do Life
Some reasons to want to be around at mid-century.

Why It Can Be So Hard to Stay Happy

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Out of the Ooze
Can being too content actually be bad for you?

Primary Affects

What science is really intrigued with is how feelings work. For ages, Tomkins and others grappled with the following question: How are there only a few discrete responses?

Mental Illness and Violence

The psychotic killer may make a great Halloween costume, but in real life, they're surprisingly rare.

Ask and You Shall Receive

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 06, 2016 in Talking Apes
Approaching a stranger to ask a favor can be difficult, but refusing a request can be just as hard.

How Do You Know Whether Love Will Last?

How do you know if your partner is going to stick with you through the rough patches or whether early romance will lead to more serious commitment? Research has some answers.

A Little Paranoia Might be Just What You Need

By Donna Barstow on June 24, 2016 in Ink Blots Cartoons
A classic article explored the value of "prudent paranoia".

Welcome to Misery!

By Randy Paterson Ph.D. on June 10, 2016 in How to be Miserable
For much of the past 20 years, psychology has been obsessed with the quest for happiness. Maybe it's time we looked in the other direction.

Having a Reaction to Reactions

Patients often say they have "reactions" to medications that don't translate into what doctors mean by "allergy."

Why Is Mental Health So Difficult to Define?

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on June 05, 2016 in Side Effects
A stress on anticipated harmony and positivity is part of the problem.

Conspiracy Theories and You

Conspiracy theories have much to say about who we are and where we're going.

OK No Cupid?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 27, 2016 in Ambigamy
Do you dread the possibility that you'll end up single even as, with age, the odds increase that you will? If so, something has to change. Perhaps your attitude about singleness.
Blend Images/Shutterstock

Why You Should Talk to Strangers

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on April 21, 2016 in Happy Trails
Be brave! Branching out and taking social risks promotes happiness.

Have You Read Your Body Lately?

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 26, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
It's spring. When the seasons hum, we resonate. It’s how we’re built. But much of the information is deeply embedded in culture and beyond everyday awareness. Let's tune in.

Can Your Heart Predict the Future?

Psychophysiologists claim cardiac clairvoyance is real.

Science Explains How Facebook Makes You Sad

The most popular social network may be taking a serious toll on your emotional well-being.

One New Twist to Project Planning

By Beth Fisher-Yoshida Ph.D., CCS on March 02, 2016 in We Are What We Make
Past success can be a blessing in disguise because it can lead to fixed mental sets limiting our achievements. Do one thing differently for better project planning results!

The Psychology Behind the Doctors Strike in the UK

Strikes can also serve a psychological function, because if the union were never to strike, the employer would always offer the lowest possible remuneration...

Should Robots Be Our Grandma's New Friend?

By Teresa Ghilarducci Ph.D. on December 24, 2015 in When I’m 64
What will loneliness in old age look like? VanGogh "At Eternity's Gate"

How Insecurity Happens and How to Overcome It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 02, 2015 in Ambigamy
"Flow" happens when we're "in the groove." Anxiety arises when we "lose our groove." Here we explore how grooves are made.

Why You Have Mixed Emotions, Even at Happy Times

By understanding how life is made up of happiness, sadness, and some combination of the two, you can gain insight into bringing out the most of those best of times.

Humankind's Current Growing Pains Are Right On Schedule

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 in Ambigamy
Taking stock is a good use of the holiday season, hard this year what with the calamities all around us. Still, from a broad vista humankind is doing fine, just what we'd expect to be doing now given evolutionary and human history.

Thanksgrieving: How Inevitable Decline Can Make Us Grateful

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 in Ambigamy
A grateful song I wrote for those times when it's hard to feel grateful.

The Terrorist Trance

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on November 14, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
One of the few truisms that deserves to repeated over and over is that hysteria can be as deceptive as it is thrilling.

The Biological Citizen: Neuropolitics as Aim and Danger

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 in Side Effects
Neuropolitics is going global. To what end? At what cost?
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

How Parental Divorce Can Impact Adolescence Now and Later

Although parents wish divorce was only about the adults, children and adolescents are always affected.

What Is A Butthead Other Than Someone We Butt Heads With?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 16, 2015 in Ambigamy
An important personal, social, political, practical and even spiritual question.

My Body Doesn't Like Pills

Sometimes patients feel uncomfortable about using a medical treatment, but they might not come right out and say so. Instead, they may develop various symptoms that seem to them to be allergy, or intolerance, or some other indication that they had better stop. Convincing them to continue, or finding an alternative, requires doctors to be alert, flexible, and sensitive.

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.