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Does Duration of Valenced Experiences Impact Affective and Evaluative Reactions?

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Tampa

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Sandra Schneider-Wright

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The goal of this study is to understand how duration of positive and negative experiences can influence predicted emotions (i.e., affect) and evaluations of those experiences. The current research explores the association between the valence (i.e., positive or negative) of experiences, affect, and decision making by testing (1) whether affective feelings predict how much one is willing to pay to experience positive or avoid negative hypothetical situations and (2) whether longer durations of positive experiences are treated differently than longer durations of negative experiences. The satiation-escalation hypothesis postulates that subjective responses to positive experiences tend to peak and plateau as positive experiences accumulate, whereas subjective responses to negative experiences tend to intensify as negative experiences accumulate. Study participants were randomly assigned to the positive or negative condition of an online experiment involving descriptions of eight scenarios presented in seven durations (e.g., spending 3 hours at a theme park). After each scenario, participants reported how much they would be willing to pay to engage in or avoid the experience, as well as rating how happy or upset they would feel about spending the time in that scenario. Results explore the strength of the relationship between affect and willingness to pay. They also show whether responses to positive events level off or satiate at longer durations and whether responses to negative events grow stronger or escalate at longer durations. The results will call attention to how one type of valence asymmetry can impact affective and evaluative reactions to experiences.

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Does Duration of Valenced Experiences Impact Affective and Evaluative Reactions?

The goal of this study is to understand how duration of positive and negative experiences can influence predicted emotions (i.e., affect) and evaluations of those experiences. The current research explores the association between the valence (i.e., positive or negative) of experiences, affect, and decision making by testing (1) whether affective feelings predict how much one is willing to pay to experience positive or avoid negative hypothetical situations and (2) whether longer durations of positive experiences are treated differently than longer durations of negative experiences. The satiation-escalation hypothesis postulates that subjective responses to positive experiences tend to peak and plateau as positive experiences accumulate, whereas subjective responses to negative experiences tend to intensify as negative experiences accumulate. Study participants were randomly assigned to the positive or negative condition of an online experiment involving descriptions of eight scenarios presented in seven durations (e.g., spending 3 hours at a theme park). After each scenario, participants reported how much they would be willing to pay to engage in or avoid the experience, as well as rating how happy or upset they would feel about spending the time in that scenario. Results explore the strength of the relationship between affect and willingness to pay. They also show whether responses to positive events level off or satiate at longer durations and whether responses to negative events grow stronger or escalate at longer durations. The results will call attention to how one type of valence asymmetry can impact affective and evaluative reactions to experiences.