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Bias in predicted and remembered emotion

  • Author(s): Levine, LJ;
  • Lench, HC;
  • Karnaze, MM;
  • Carlson, SJ
  • et al.

Predicting and remembering emotion both rely on the episodic memory system which is constructive and subject to bias. In keeping with the common cognitive processes underlying prospection and retrospection, people show similar strengths and weaknesses when they predict how they will feel in the future and remember how they felt in the past. Recent findings reveal that people predict and remember the intensity of emotion more accurately than their overall or general emotional response, and whether emotion is overestimated or underestimated depends on how people's attention to, and appraisals about, events change over time. People's phenomenological experience differs markedly when they are predicting versus remembering emotion, however. Phenomenological cues, such as intensity and autonoetic experience, make predicted emotion a more compelling guide for decisions, even when inaccurate.

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