Memory & Cognition

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 132–138 | Cite as

A test of the peak-end rule with extended autobiographical events

  • Simon KempEmail author
  • Christopher D. B. Burt
  • Laura Furneaux


Forty-nine students went on vacation for an average of 7 days and sent daily text messages about the happiness they had experienced over the previous 24 h. After their vacation, they were questioned on the overall happiness they had experienced and were asked to recall the daily record of their happiness. The duration of the vacation had no effect on the subsequent evaluations, and participants were not able to recall the detail of their day-to-day changes in happiness. A number of summary measures provided reasonable prediction of the recalled overall happiness of the vacation. The peak-end rule was not an outstandingly good predictor. Overall, the results indicate much reconstruction of the affective states.


Recall Test Autobiographical Memory Average Happiness Autobiographical Event Good Moment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Kemp
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher D. B. Burt
    • 1
  • Laura Furneaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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