Preferences for separating or combining events.
This research investigates people's preferences for temporally separating or combining emotionally impactful events. For instance, do people prefer to experience 2 negative events (e.g., manuscript rejections) on the same day or on different days? Do people prefer to experience 2 positive events (e.g., manuscript acceptances) on the same or different days? This article proposes a renewable resources model that combines elements of decision-making models (prospect theory) with the notion that people possess limited but renewable physiological, cognitive, and social resources for dealing with emotionally impactful events. As predicted, Ss preferred to separate 2 positive events (the gain-savoring hypothesis), to separate 2 negative events (the multiple-loss-avoidance hypothesis), and to combine a positive and a negative event (the loss-buffering hypothesis). Ss displayed identical preferences for events from the academic, financial, and social domains.
Linville, PW; Fischer, GW
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