Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=929932
 
 

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Distinction Bias: Misprediction and Mischoice Due to Joint Evaluation


Christopher K. Hsee


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Jiao Zhang


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business


Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 86, No. 5, 2004

Abstract:     
This research identifies a new source of failure to make accurate affective predictions or to make experientially optimal choices. When people make predictions or choices, they are often in the joint evaluation (JE) mode; when people actually experience an event, they are often in the single evaluation (SE) mode. The "utility function" of an attribute can vary systematically between SE and JE. When people in JE make predictions or choices for events to be experienced in SE, they often resort to their JE preferences rather than their SE preferences and overpredict the difference that different values of an attribute (e.g., different salaries) will make to their happiness in SE. This overprediction is referred to as the distinction bias. The present research also specifies when the distinction bias occurs and when it does not. This research contributes to literatures on experienced utility, affective forecasting, and happiness.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: evaluability, joint evaluation, separate evaluation, affective-forecasting, experienced utility

JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91

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Date posted: October 11, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Hsee, Christopher K. and Zhang, Jiao, Distinction Bias: Misprediction and Mischoice Due to Joint Evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 86, No. 5, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=929932

Contact Information

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