Anticipating One's Troubles: The Costs and Benefits of Negative Expectations

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Anticipating One's Troubles: The Costs and Benefits of Negative Expectations

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Title: Anticipating One's Troubles: The Costs and Benefits of Negative Expectations
Author: Golub, Sarit A.; Wilson, Timothy D.; Gilbert, Daniel

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Citation: Golub, Sarit A., Daniel T. Gilbert, and Timothy D. Wilson. 2009. Anticipating one's troubles: the costs and benefits of negative expectations. Emotion 9(2): 277-281.
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Abstract: Although negative expectations may have the benefit of softening the blow when a negative event occurs, they also have the cost of making people feel worse while they are waiting for that event to happen. Three studies suggest that the cost of negative expectations is greater than the benefit. In 2 laboratory experiments and a field study, people felt worse when they were expecting a negative than a positive event; but once the event occurred, their prior expectations had no measurable influence on how they felt. These results suggest that anticipating one's troubles may be a poor strategy for maximizing positive affect.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0014716
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3119461

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7374]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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