What to do on spring break? The role of predicted, on-line, and remembered experience in future choice
Wirtz, D., Kruger, J., Scollon, C. N., & Diener, E. (2003). What to do on spring break? The role of predicted, on-line, and remembered experience in future choice. Psychological Science, 14(5), 520-524.
When individuals choose future activities on the basis of their past experiences, what guides those choices? The present study compared students' predicted, on-line, and remembered spring-break experiences, as well as the influence of these factors on students' desire to take a similar vacation in the future. Predicted and remembered experiences were both more positive—and, paradoxically, more negative—than on-line experiences. Of key importance, path analyses revealed that remembered experience, but neither on-line nor anticipated experience, directly predicted the desire to repeat the experience. These results suggest that although on-line measures may be superior to retrospective measures for approximating objective experience, retrospective measures may be superior for predicting choice.
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