Thursday, April 9, 2009

Choosing What Makes Us Happy (2): Causes of Impact Bias

Focalism: One cause of the impact bias is focalism. People pay too much attention to the main event which they are considering and may neglect other simultaneous events that will alter the impact of the main event.

Sense making: People have a tendency to make sense of events. By making sense of events people adapt emotionally to them. This is useful for events with a negative affect, but the same process also may also work for events with a positive affect.

Thus a student who receives higher than expected marks may initially feel happy, but then she would start searching for reasons for her higher marks. Once she has the explanations in place, the event would seem more normal and she would generally feel less happy.

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