ArticlePDF Available

Saving the Last for Best: A Positivity Bias for End Experiences

Authors:

Figures

Content may be subject to copyright.
Running head: POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES 1
Saving the last for best:
A positivity bias for end experiences
Ed O’Brien & Phoebe C. Ellsworth
University of Michigan
In press, Psychological Science
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
2
Saving the last for best:
A positivity bias for end experiences
Imagine your favorite restaurant is closing and your final meal tastes especially
delicious. Is it actually tasty, or is it enjoyable because you know it is the last one?
Previous research suggests that salient endings to events may foster more positive
attitudes toward them. For example, students reminded of graduation feel greater
affection for their school (Ersner-Hershfield, Mikels, Sullivan, & Carstensen, 2008) and
people who consider relocating value hometown friends more highly (Fredrickson &
Carstensen, 1990). However, “lasts” are also common in everyday life and need not
involve significant experiences. In a typical day, Linda might read the last chapter of a
book, eat the last bite of lunch, listen to the last symposium speaker, and give the last kiss
goodnight. And she may assess the quality of each (e.g., “How interesting was that final
talk?”). Serial positioning may affect such assessments when made salient because people
are highly sensitive to temporal contexts, which influence many evaluations besides
major life episodes (Aaker, Rudd, & Mogilner, 2011; Levine, 1997; McGrath & Tschan,
2004). Thus, just as graduations trigger warmer perceptions of school, people might
judge everyday “last” events more positively because they more generally signal an
“end” to the experience.
To test this possibility, we recruited participants to eat different flavors of
chocolates one by one. We predicted that (i) the last chocolate would be more enjoyable
when its finality was salient, (ii) it would taste better than the others irrespective of
flavor, and (iii) the experiment would be more enjoyable overall because endings drive
global evaluations (e.g., duration neglect: Redelmeier & Kahneman, 1996); if the last
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
3
chocolate tastes better, the overall experience should seem better.
Method
Fifty-two students (28 males), recruited individually in public campus areas,
participated in an alleged taste test of new Hershey Kisses containing local ingredients.
Unbeknownst to participants, they would eat 5 unnamed chocolate flavors: milk, dark,
crème, caramel, and almond. An experimenter, blind to the hypothesis, pulled a random
flavor from a hidden pocket inside a full bag of candy (to conceal the true number) that
contained 1 of each. Participants then ate and rated it from 0 (not at all enjoyable) to 10
(extremely enjoyable). They also described each flavor so we could record actual orders.
Participants were randomly assigned to the “next” or “last” condition. In the
“next” condition, the experimenter said, “Here is your next chocolate,” before each
chocolate after the first. In the “last” condition, the experimenter followed this script but
said, “Here is your last chocolate,” before the fifth chocolate. Thus, participants were
either unaware or aware of which chocolate was last.
Participants then indicated which chocolate they liked best and how much they
enjoyed the experiment overall, followed by a manipulation check and demographic
questions. Finally, they were funnel-debriefed (none indicated suspicion).
Results
First,1 was the fifth chocolate more enjoyable when described as “last” rather than
“next”? Yes. “Last” participants rated the fifth chocolate better (M=8.18, SD=1.87) than
“next” participants (M=6.26, SD=2.30), t(43)=3.07, p=.004, d=0.92, liking it more than
any other chocolate. As expected, ratings of Chocolates 1-4 did not differ by condition,
ts<1.00 (see Figure 1).2
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
4
Second, were “last” chocolates preferred to others? Yes. The majority of “last”
participants chose the fifth chocolate as their favorite (64%), significantly more than
“next” participants (22%), !2(4)=9.95, p=.04.
Third, was the experiment more enjoyable overall when it ended with “last”
chocolates? Yes. As predicted, the effect of condition on overall enjoyment was mediated
by ratings of the end chocolate, !=.38, p=.016. Thus, the experiment was rated more
enjoyable by “last” participants (M=8.73, SD=1.42) than “next” participants (M=7.65,
SD=1.70), t(43)=2.30, p=.026, d=0.69.
Discussion
Endings are powerful. Long painful experiences that end relatively pleasantly are
remembered better than short painful experiences that do not (Redelmeier & Kahneman,
1996). A short life that ends on a high note seems better than a long life that ends in
mediocrity (Diener, Wirtz, & Oishi, 2001). Moral behavior at the end of life outweighs
immoral behavior leading up to it (Newman, Lockart, & Keil, 2010). And significant end
events (e.g., graduation) promote positive event-related experiences (Kurtz, 2008).
This research demonstrates the power of endings in everyday life and in real-time.
Participants who knew they were eating the final chocolate of a taste test enjoyed it more,
preferred it to other chocolates, and rated the overall experience as more enjoyable. These
results are especially intriguing because the “end” was somewhat artificial and
impermanent (e.g., participants could still eat chocolates after finishing our experiment).
This suggests that the same experience becomes better simply because people are aware
that it is the last in a series, which influences subsequent evaluations and preferences.
This observation probably extends far beyond Hershey Kisses. For example, the last book
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
5
of a series or speaker in a symposium may receive unwarranted praise; research subjects
may give overly-positive responses on last tasks of experiments; and last job applicants
or students (e.g., final papers to grade) may look especially qualified.
Such implications suggest many directions for future research. Why, exactly, are
everyday experiences enhanced upon signaling their end (e.g., evolved appreciation for
anticipated scarcity: Kurzban & Leary, 2001), and through what mechanisms (e.g.,
selective attention: Carstensen & Mikels, 2005; increased savoring: Quoidbach, Dunn,
Petrides, & Mikolajczak, 2010)? What are potential boundaries (e.g., hedonic adaptation:
Frederick & Loewenstein, 1999) or parameters (e.g., positive versus negative
experiences)?
Until then, consider the cheaper option during your final visit to a restaurant – it
may taste just as delicious as any other.
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
6
Notes
1. Seven participants were eliminated for incorrect manipulation checks (i.e., What
information preceded the fifth chocolate? Next/Last/None/Don’t know).
2. Actual flavors were roughly equal across each position for both conditions,
making it unlikely that “last” participants ate better fifth chocolates by chance.
Nonetheless, 24 additional participants completed the taste test in a set order.
“Almond” was randomly chosen as fifth. Replicating the effect, “last” participants
enjoyed it more (M=7.98, SD=1.71) than “next” participants (M=6.09, SD=1.99),
t(22)=3.31, p<.001, d=1.02.
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
7
References
Aaker, J., Rudd, M., & Mogilner, C. (2011, in press). If money doesn’t make you
happier, consider time. Journal of Consumer Psychology.
Carstensen, L., & Mikels, J. A. (2005). At the intersection of emotion and cognition:
Aging and the positivity effect. Current Directions in Psychological Science,
14(3), 117-121.
Diener, E., Wirtz, D., & Oishi, S. (2001). End effects of rated life quality: The James
Dean effect. Psychological Science, 12(2), 124-128.
Ersner-Hershfield, H., Mikels, J. A., Sullivan, S. J., & Carstensen, L. L. (2008).
Poignancy: Mixed emotional experience in the face of meaningful endings.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(1), 158-167.
Frederick, S., & Loewenstein, G. (1999). Hedonic adaptation. In D. Kahneman, E.
Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology
(pp. 302-329). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Fredrickson, B. L., & Carstensen, L. L. (1990). Choosing social partners: How old age
and anticipated endings make people more selective. Psychology and Aging, 5(3),
335-347.
Kurtz, J. (2008). Looking to the future to appreciate the present: The benefits of
perceived temporal scarcity. Psychological Science, 19, 1238-1241.
Kurzban, R., & Leary, M. R. (2001). Evolutionary origins of stigmatization: The
functions of social exclusion. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 187-208.
Levine, R. (1997). A geography of time. New York: Basic Books.
McGrath, J. E., & Tschan, F. (2004). Temporal matters in social psychology: Examining
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
8
the role of time in the lives of groups and individuals. Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.
Newman, G. E., Lockhart, K. L., & Keil, F. C. (2010). “End-of-life” biases in moral
evaluations of others. Cognition, 115(2), 343-349.
Quoidbach, J., Dunn, E. W., Petrides, K. V., & Mikolajczak, M. (2010). Money giveth,
money taketh away: the dual effect of wealth on happiness. Psychological
Science, 21(6), 759-763.
Redelmeier, D. A., & Kahneman, D. (1996). Patients’ memories of painful medical
treatments: Real-time and retrospective evaluations of two minimally invasive
procedures. Pain, 66(1), 3-8.
POSITIVITY BIAS FOR END EXPERIENCES
9
Figure 1. Enjoyment across chocolate position and condition. Error bars ±1SE.
... In this study, we found that higher positive experiences in life were associated with more positivity, whereas higher negative experiences were associated with less positivity, corroborating the findings of previous studies (Diener et al., 2000;Miller et al., 2008;Seta et al., 2008;O'Brien and Ellsworth, 2012;Catalino et al., 2014). Individuals with more frequent experiences of positive emotions were more likely to prioritize positivity in their daily lives (Catalino et al., 2014). ...
... People naturally feel more positive when they are exposed to a highly positive event (Seta et al., 2008). Thus, negative experiences may produce different effects than positive experiences do (O'Brien and Ellsworth, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background People say it is hard to stay truly positive in Lebanon. Studies showed that 63% of Lebanese young adults are highly dissatisfied with their country. In fact, young adults are the most vulnerable population to stressors in Lebanon since their future is at stake and it is their time to shape their lives in a country that cripples them. This study aimed to assess factors (flourishing, religious coping, experiences in life, and the economic burden) associated with positivity among a sample of Lebanese university students despite the various stressors they are facing on top of the economic collapse and the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted between November and December 2021. A total of 333 participants (219 females and 114 males; mean age = 22.95 ± 4.79 years) was recruited through convenience sampling and snowball technique through several areas in Lebanon’s governorates. A linear regression taking the positivity score as the dependent variable was adopted and all variables that showed a correlation > │0.24│ in absolute value were entered in the final model as independent.ResultsA linear regression taking the positivity score as the dependent variable showed that more positive experiences in life (Beta = 0.49; 95% CI 0.35–0.62), more flourishing (Beta = 0.10; 95% CI 0.05–0.14), living in rural area compared to urban (Beta = 3.06; 95% CI 2.02–4.11), and female gender (Beta = 1.56; 95% CI 0.50–2.61) were significantly associated with more positivity (Nagelkerke R2 of the model = 45.8%).Conclusion This study demonstrated that the youth’s positivity is strongly affected by age, gender, residency, and the country they live in that will both directly and indirectly shape their life experiences and their ability to flourish and prosper. Along with all the efforts done to help during this collapse and alleviate the stress that young adults are enduring, follow-up studies are still needed to determine accurate coping techniques that pushes these young adults to think positively in a country where negativity reigns and all else fails.
... As to other domains, it has been suggested that a perceived ending may change the behavior of individuals. For example, individuals tend to give higher ratings for the last food sample (O'Brien & Ellsworth 2012). Game theory predicts an "endgame effect", wherein individuals act in a self-interest manner in the final round of a repeated distribution game because there is no opportunity of benefitting to be obtained by cooperating (Normann & Wallace, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has demonstrated that individuals present increased risk taking at the end of a series of gambles, a phenomenon called the ending effect. By using a large online football gambling data, we attempted to replicate the ending effect and tested the existence of a different pattern of increased risk taking at the ending. The results showed that at the end of a series of football gambles, bettors would take more risks, and options with lower risk would be preferred. In games without the interference of local bettors, the ending effect was found to be stronger than that of games with local bettors. Overall, the results provide evidence for the bounded ending effect. Possible underlying mechanisms of the bounded ending effect are explored.
... Her induction made time seem scarcer. Students responded by valuing that time, just as we might savor the last chocolate in a box of chocolates (O'Brien & Ellsworth, 2012). Of course, what we often really want is more chocolate. ...
Article
Meaningful endings lead people to experience mixed emotions, but it is unclear why. We hypothesized that it is in part because meaningful endings lead people to reminisce on good times. In Study 1, college students who took part in our study on their graduation day (vs. a typical day) reported having spent more time that day reminiscing on good times. Moreover, reminiscence on good times partially mediated the effect of graduation on happiness, sadness, and mixed emotions. In Study 2, we asked undergraduates to reminisce on good (vs. ordinary) times from high school and found that reminiscence on good times elicited happiness, sadness, and mixed emotions. In Study 3, we found that reminiscing on good times that were not (vs. were) repeatable elicited especially intense sadness and mixed emotions. Taken together, results indicate that reminiscing on good times, especially good times gone, elicits mixed emotions and that these emotional consequences help explain why meaningful endings elicit mixed emotions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Full-text available
Phantom limb pain (PLP) impacts the majority of individuals who undergo limb amputation. The PLP experience is highly heterogenous in its quality, intensity, frequency and severity. This heterogeneity, combined with the low prevalence of amputation in the general population, has made it difficult to accumulate reliable data on PLP. Consequently, we lack consensus on PLP mechanisms, as well as effective treatment options. However, the wealth of new PLP research, over the past decade, provides a unique opportunity to re-evaluate some of the core assumptions underlying what we know about PLP and the rationale behind PLP treatments. The goal of this review is to help generate consensus in the field on how best to research PLP, from phenomenology to treatment. We highlight conceptual and methodological challenges in studying PLP, which have hindered progress on the topic and spawned disagreement in the field, and offer potential solutions to overcome these challenges. Our hope is that a constructive evaluation of the foundational knowledge underlying PLP research practices will enable more informed decisions when testing the efficacy of existing interventions and will guide the development of the next generation of PLP treatments.
Article
Full-text available
The pandemic outbreak poses one of the most influential threats. When faced with such a threat, consumers engage in adaptive behaviors, and one way to do so may pertain to pattern-seeking in their choices. Across five studies, we show that consumers exhibit patterns in sequential choice under the threat of COVID-19. Specifically, consumers high (vs. low) in the perceived threat increase sequential patterns in repeated choice regardless of whether the levels of the perceived threat are measured or manipulated. The effect emerges even when a patterned choice option is objectively inferior to a nonpatterned option. The underlying mechanism of the effect is that consumers experience a lower sense of control, which motivates them to seek patterned choices to regain control threatened by the infectious disease. We further show that the effect on patterned choice is stronger for consumers with lower childhood socioeconomic status (SES), who are characterized by a lower sense of control, than their higher childhood SES counterparts. Noting that infectious disease threats are unavoidable, we offer theoretical contributions as well as novel insights into marketing practices under unpredictable and threatening situations.
Article
Various domains of life are improving over time, meaning the future is filled with exciting advances that people can now look forward to (e.g., in technology). Three preregistered experiments ( N = 1,602) suggest that mere awareness of better futures can risk spoiling otherwise enjoyable presents. Across experiments, participants interacted with novel technologies—but, via random assignment, some participants were informed beforehand that even better versions were in the works. Mere awareness of future improvement led participants to experience present versions as less enjoyable—despite being new to them, and despite being identical across conditions. They even bid more money to be able to end their participation early. Why? Such knowledge led these participants to perceive more flaws in present versions than they would have perceived without such knowledge—as if prompted to infer that there must have been something to improve upon (or else, why was a better one needed in the first place?)—thus creating a less enjoyable experience. Accordingly, these spoiling effects were specific to flaw-relevant stimuli and were attenuated by reminders of past progress already achieved. All told, the current research highlights important implications for how today’s ever better offerings may be undermining net happiness (despite marking absolute progress). As people continually await exciting things still to come, they may be continually dissatisfied by exciting things already here.
Thesis
What is aesthetic appreciation? What values is it concerned with? This dissertation consists of three distinct papers tackling problems related to these questions. Chapter One According to what I call the Merit Principle, roughly, works of art that attempt to elicit unmerited responses fail on their own terms and are thereby aesthetically flawed. In the first chapter, I show how the principle leads to paradox when applied to an undertheorized class of artworks I call “seductive artworks”, which invite an unmerited first-order response in order to invite a repudiation of that response. I consider a number of unsuccessful solutions to the paradox, before rejecting the Merit Principle as it stands. I conclude by briefly discussing what is challenging about seductive artworks and by proposing a revision to the Merit Principle. Chapter Two Generally, we cooperate imaginatively with literary fictions, however bizarre, and the things authors write into their stories become true in the fiction. But for some claims, such as moral falsehoods, this seems not to be straightforwardly the case, which raises the question: Why not? The puzzles such cases raise are sometimes grouped under the heading “imaginative resistance”. In this paper, I argue against what I take to be the best attempts to (a) dismiss the puzzles and (b) solve them. I also tease out subtleties not sufficiently addressed in the existing literature and end by defending a unified solution of my own. The solution’s novelty lies in its giving a normative rather than psychological or alethic explanation for the puzzling phenomena. Chapter Three The third chapter looks at the tenability of understanding our engagement with sport along the lines of our engagement with works of fiction. Specifically, it addresses an incongruity in our attitudes towards the outcomes of competitive games and asks why these outcomes frequently prompt intense reactions, while often also seeming utterly trivial. I show why the temptation to understand our engagement with sport as akin to our engagement with works of fiction—as involving games of make-believe—faces serious theoretical obstacles. I end by exploring two alternative possibilities to the proposal.
Access-based services (ABS) have shown tremendous growth recently. We examine the relationship between service period framing and consumers’ anticipated ABS enjoyment. Four scenario-based experiments revealed that focus frame of the service period affected anticipated enjoyment of upcoming ABS experiences and this effect is mediated by perceived temporal scarcity. We also examine the moderating role of perceived product benefits, indicating that this mediated focus-frame effect is amplified among consumers tending to pursue hedonic benefits from the borrowed goods. Lastly, we confirm the anticipated enjoyment’s mediating role on the relationship between focus frame and consumers’ positive behaviors and attitudes toward ABS.
Article
Recognizing, enhancing, and appreciating positive experiences in our lives, also known as savoring, has many benefits. Research on savoring suggests that practicing savoring is linked to positive outcomes such as increased happiness and general wellbeing. Organizations should be aware of the positive implications of practicing savoring and should seek to develop savoring norms as this can contribute to organizational success. This article discusses the savoring of positive experiences as a phenomenon and its application in the workplace. Specifically, this article will provide an overview of strategies aimed at enhancing savoring, as well as past research findings that highlight the utility of these strategies. Different barriers and solutions to savoring are discussed, in addition to the importance of the context in cultivating savoring norms in the workplace.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research testing the hedonic editing hypothesis examined preferences for the timing of events that happen to the self—asking, for example, whether people prefer to experience two positive or two negative events on the same or different day(s). Here, we examine preferences for the timing of events that happen to the self and to others— social hedonic editing. Across five studies ( N = 2,522), we find people prefer to experience a positive or negative event on the same day that (vs. a different day than) another person experiences a similar positive or negative event. Studies 1 and 2 document this “preference for integration” in interpersonal (i.e., for the self and others) but not intrapersonal (i.e., for the self) contexts, Studies 3 and 4 suggest people prefer integration because it increases interpersonal connection, and Study 5 highlights a boundary condition. People do not prefer integration for very emotionally impactful events.
Article
Full-text available
Although a substantial amount of research has examined the link between money and happiness, far less has examined the link between time and happiness. This paper argues, however, that time plays a critical role in understanding happiness, and it complements the money-spending happiness principles in Dunn, Gilbert, and Wilson (2011) by offering five time-spending happiness principles: 1) spend time with the right people; 2) spend time on the right activities; 3) enjoy the experience without spending the time; 4) expand your time; and 5) be aware that happiness changes over time.
Article
Full-text available
A reconceptualization of stigma is presented that changes the emphasis from the devaluation of an individual's identity to the process by which individuals who satisfy certain criteria come to be excluded from various kinds of social interactions. The authors propose that phenomena currently placed under the general rubric of stigma involve a set of distinct psychological systems designed by natural selection to solve specific problems associated with sociality. In particular, the authors suggest that human beings possess cognitive adaptations designed to cause them to avoid poor social exchange partners, join cooperative groups (for purposes of between-group competition and exploitation), and avoid contact with those who are differentially likely to carry communicable pathogens. The evolutionary view contributes to the current conceptualization of stigma by providing an account of the ultimate function of stigmatization and helping to explain its consensual nature.
Article
Full-text available
This study provides the first evidence that money impairs people's ability to savor everyday positive emotions and experiences. In a sample of working adults, wealthier individuals reported lower savoring ability (the ability to enhance and prolong positive emotional experience). Moreover, the negative impact of wealth on individuals' ability to savor undermined the positive effects of money on their happiness. We experimentally exposed participants to a reminder of wealth and produced the same deleterious effect on their ability to savor as that produced by actual individual differences in wealth, a result supporting the theory that money has a causal effect on savoring. Moving beyond self-reports, we found that participants exposed to a reminder of wealth spent less time savoring a piece of chocolate and exhibited reduced enjoyment of it compared with participants not exposed to wealth. This article presents evidence supporting the widely held but previously untested belief that having access to the best things in life may actually undercut people's ability to reap enjoyment from life's small pleasures.
Article
Divergent trajectories characterize the aging mind: Processing capacity declines, while judgment, knowledge, and emotion regulation are relatively spared. We maintain that these different developmental trajectories have implications for emotion–cognition interactions. Following an overview of our theoretical position, we review empirical studies indicating that (a) older adults evidence superior cognitive performance for emotional relative to non-emotional information, (b) age differences are most evident when the emotional content is positively as opposed to negatively valenced, and (c) differences can be accounted for by changes in motivation posited in socioemotional selectivity theory.
Article
Hedonic adaptation refers to a reduction in the affective intensity of favorable and unfavorable circumstances. This chapter discusses the purposes, underlying mechanisms, and most common functional representations of hedonic adaptation. The authors then examine some of the methodological problems that hamper research in this area and review the literature on adaptation in 4 negative domains (noise, imprisonment, bereavement, and disability), and 4 positive domains (foods, erotic images, increases in wealth, and improvements in appearance produced by cosmetic surgery). Following this review, the authors discuss several circumstances that promote or impede hedonic adaptation. They conclude by discussing the dark side of hedonic adaptation—the negative consequences for individuals and society. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Although a substantial amount of research has examined the link between money and happiness, far less has examined the link between time and happiness. This paper argues, however, that time plays a critical role in understanding happiness, and it complements the money-spending happiness principles in Dunn, Gilbert, and Wilson (2010) by offering five time-spending happiness principles: 1) spend time with the right people; 2) spend time on the right activities; 3) enjoy the experience without spending the time; 4) expand your time; and 5) be aware that happiness changes over time.
Article
Decision-makers often evaluate options sequentially due to constraints on attention, timing, or physical location of the options. Choosing the best option will therefore often depend on people's memories of the options. Because imperfect recall introduces uncertainty in earlier options, judgments of those options should regress toward the category mean as memory decays over time. Relatively desirable options will therefore tend to seem less desirable with time, and relatively undesirable options will tend to seem less undesirable with time. We therefore predicted that people will tend to select the first option in a set when choosing between generally undesirable options, and will tend to select the last when choosing between generally desirable options. We demonstrate these serial position effects in choices among paintings, American Idol audition clips, jellybeans, and female faces, provide evidence of its underlying mechanism, and explain how these findings build on existing accounts. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
When evaluating the moral character of others, people show a strong bias to more heavily weigh behaviors at the end of an individual's life, even if those behaviors arise in light of an overwhelmingly longer duration of contradictory behavior. Across four experiments, we find that this "end-of-life" bias uniquely applies to intentional changes in behavior that immediately precede death, and appears to result from the inference that the behavioral change reflects the emergence of the individual's "true self".
Article
Both psychological research and conventional wisdom suggest that it can be difficult to attend to and derive enjoyment from the pleasant things in life. The present study examined whether focusing on the imminent ending of a positive life experience can lead to increased enjoyment. A temporal distance manipulation was used to make college graduation seem more or less close at hand. Twice a week over the course of 2 weeks, college students were told to write about their college life, with graduation being framed as either very close or very far off. As predicted, thinking about graduation as being close led to a significant increase in college-related behaviors and subjective well-being over the course of the study. The present research provides support for the counterintuitive hypothesis that thinking about an experience's ending can enhance one's present enjoyment of it.