Anticipating Others’ Responses (01-13-19)

Jung, Mood, and Nelson identified one of the reasons that users’ actual in-place experiences may not align with what other people anticipate they will be.  The Jung-lead team determined that “when making predictions about others, people rely on their intuitive core representation of the experience (e.g., is the experience generally positive?) in lieu of a more complex representation that might also include countervailing aspects (e.g., is any of the experience negative?). . . . the overestimation bias is pervasive for a wide range of positive . . . and negative experiences. . . . relative to themselves, people believe that an identically paying other will get more enjoyment from the same experience, but paradoxically, that an identically enjoying other will pay more for the same experience.”  We feel that others’ experiences will be more purely positive or negative than ours are in the same situations.  So, in short, we estimate that, compared to ourselves, other people will pay or wait more for an experience seen as desirable, as well as will enjoy it more when it is in-process.  With undesirable experiences, we estimate other people will be willing to pay more to avoid them and that others will find them worse than we would.

Minah Jung, Alice Mood, and Leif Nelson.  “Overestimating the Valuations and Preferences of Others.”  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, in press,