Feeling the Future: The Emotional Oracle Effect

56 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2011

See all articles by Michel Tuan Pham

Michel Tuan Pham

Columbia University - Columbia Business School; Columbia Business School - Marketing

Leonard Lee

Columbia Business School - Marketing

Andrew T. Stephen

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: October 18, 2011

Abstract

Eight studies reveal an intriguing phenomenon: Individuals who have higher trust in their feelings can predict the outcomes of future events better than individuals with lower trust in their feelings. This emotional oracle effect was found in a variety of domains, including (a) the 2008 U.S. Democratic presidential nomination, (b) movie box-office success, (c) the winner of American Idol, (d) the stock market, (e) college football, and even (f) the weather. It is mostly high trust in feelings that improves prediction accuracy rather than low trust in feelings that impairs it. This effect occurs only among individuals who possess sufficient background knowledge about the prediction domain, and it dissipates when the prediction criterion becomes inherently unpredictable. The authors hypothesize that this effect arises because trusting one’s feelings encourages access to a “privileged window” into the vast amount of predictive information people learn, often unconsciously, about their environments. How the present research relates to Bem (2011) is also discussed.

Keywords: Affect, Emotion, Prediction, Forecasting

Suggested Citation

Pham, Michel Tuan and Lee, Leonard and Stephen, Andrew T., Feeling the Future: The Emotional Oracle Effect (October 18, 2011). Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1945787

Michel Tuan Pham (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

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212-854-3472 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~tdp4/

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

3022 Broadway
515 Uris
New York, NY NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~tdp4/

Leonard Lee

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States
212 854 2177 (Phone)
212 854 7647 (Fax)

Andrew T. Stephen

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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