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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Simon Kemp.

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Kemp, S., Burt, C.D.B. & Furneaux, L. A test of the peak-end rule with extended autobiographical events. Memory & Cognition 36, 132–138 (2008). https://doi.org/10.3758/MC.36.1.132

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Keywords

  • Recall Test
  • Autobiographical Memory
  • Average Happiness
  • Autobiographical Event
  • Good Moment