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http://ssrn.com/abstract=929914
 
 

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Decision and Experience: Why Don't We Choose What Makes Us Happy?


Christopher K. Hsee


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Reid Hastie


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business


Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2006

Abstract:     
Recent years have witnessed a growing interest among psychologists and other social scientists in subjective wellbeing and happiness. Here we review selected contributions to this development from the literature on behavioral decision theory. In particular, we examine many, somewhat surprising, findings that show people systematically fail to predict or choose what maximizes their happiness, and we look at reasons why they fail to do so. These findings challenge a fundamental assumption that underlies popular support for consumer sovereignty and other forms of autonomy in decision-making (e.g. marriage choice), namely, the assumption that people are able to make choices in their own best interests.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Keywords: happiness, affective-forecasting, evaluability, experienced utility, decision bias, affect

JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91

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Date posted: October 11, 2006 ; Last revised: November 10, 2008

Suggested Citation

Hsee, Christopher K. and Hastie, Reid, Decision and Experience: Why Don't We Choose What Makes Us Happy?. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=929914

Contact Information

Christopher K. Hsee (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Reid Hastie
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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