Economics Discovers Its Feelings

Here’s a fascinating article from the Economist:

If people are bad at recalling their feelings, they are worse at predicting them. They fail to anticipate how a person feels after moving to a new city, losing a limb or winning a jackpot. Prisoners imagine that solitary confinement will be worse than it really is; mothers-to-be think the pain of childbirth will be more bearable than it typically proves to be. And it is not just unusual events that trip people up. According to Mr Kahneman, people struggle to predict how their appetite for ice-cream, low-fat yogurt or music might change in the course of a week of enjoying them. If man is an iron-balance that weigh pains and pleasures, the scales are sadly askew.

Posted by on December 31st, 2006 at 8:10 pm

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