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.
activity choices, experiences, choice prediction
Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology
Wirtz, Derrick, Kruger, Justin, SCOLLON, Christie N., & DIENER, Ed.(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.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/929