On the making of an experience: The effects of breaking and combining experiences on their overall evaluation


Journal Article

How do people create overall evaluations for experiences that change in intensity over time? What 'rules' do they use for combining such different intensities into single overall evaluations? And what factors influence these integration rules? This paper starts by examining the relationship between the patterns of experiences over time and their overall evaluations. Within this framework, we propose and test the idea that the rules for combining such experiences depend on whether the experiences are perceived to be composed of single or multiple parts (i.e. continuous or discrete). In two experiments we demonstrate that an experience's level of cohesiveness moderates the relationship between its pattern and overall evaluation. The results show that breaking up experiences substantially reduces the impact of patterns on overall evaluations. In addition, we demonstrate that continuously measuring momentary intensities produces a similar effect on this relationship, causing us to speculate that providing continuous intensity responses causes subjects to self-segment the experience. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ariely, D; Zauberman, G

Published Date

  • January 1, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 219 - 232

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0894-3257

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0771(200004/06)13:2<219::AID-BDM331>3.0.CO;2-P

Citation Source

  • Scopus