When does duration matter in judgment and decision making?
Research on sequences of outcomes shows that people care about features of an experience, such as improvement or deterioration over time, and peak and end levels, which the discounted utility model (DU) assumes they do not care about. In contrast to the finding that some attributes are weighted more than DU predicts, Kahneman and coauthors have proposed that there is one feature of sequences that DU predicts people should care about but that people in fact ignore or underweight: duration. In this article, the authors extend this line of research by investigating the role of conversational norms (H. P. Grice, 1975), and scale-norming (D. Kahneman & T. D. Miller, 1986). The impact of these 2 factors are examined in 4 parallel studies that manipulate these factors orthogonally. The major finding is that response modes that reduce reliance on conversational norms or standard of comparison also increase the attention that participants pay to duration.
Ariely, D; Loewenstein, G
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