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Memories of Yesterday's Emotions: Does the Valence of Experience Affect the Memory-Experience Gap?

Authors:
  • Ono Academic College and University of Cambridge

Abstract

Intense pain is often exaggerated in retrospective evaluations, indicating a possible divergence between experience and memory. However, little is known regarding how people retrospectively evaluate experiences with both pleasant and unpleasant aspects. The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM; Kahneman. Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2004b) provides a unique opportunity to examine memory-experience gaps in recollections of individual days, which elicit a wide gamut of emotions. We asked female participants (N = 810, Study 1, and N = 615, Study 2) to reconstruct episodes of the previous day using the DRM and demonstrated that memory and experience diverge for both pleasant and unpleasant emotions. When they rated their day overall in a retrospectively evaluative frame of mind, the participants recalled more unpleasant and pleasant emotions than they reported feeling during the individual episodes, with a larger gap for unpleasant emotions than for pleasant emotions. The findings suggest that separate processes are used for committing positive and negative events to memory and that, especially when unpleasant emotions are involved, prudence is favored over accuracy.
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... • Experiencing and remembering self: Prior research showed that our memory of certain episodes does not provide an accurate representation of our experiences Kahneman (2011). In a retrospective evaluative frame of mind, unpleasant emotions are more likely to be recalled than pleasant ones (Miron-Shatz, A. Stone, and Kahneman 2009). This e ect could also be confirmed across age groups and gender (Neubauer et al. 2020). This memory-experience gap for ratings of emotions has also been shown in HCI (Bruun and Ahm 2015). Hence, what we can recall of any episode is neither an accurate nor a complete representation of our experience. As shown in the case studies above, ...
Thesis
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) are becoming ever more pervasive in our everyday lives. Mobility, including all modes of transport, is one area where this trend is present. However, there is no comprehensive understanding of technology’s role in supporting utilitarian cycling in realistic everyday settings. In this thesis, I aim to address this gap by exploring the interplay of technology and the adoption of utilitarian cycling. Across seven case studies, I describe motivations, choices and experiences involved in utilitarian cycling and the role of technology therein. I furthermore lay out how the environment, the available cycling infrastructure, the complex interactions with other road users, and the competencies of individuals shape experiences during cycling and using ICT in that realm. Using technology probes incorporating game-like elements, I show how such systems can help their users to stay motivated and use the bicycle more often. I also investigated how professional cycling instructors help novice cyclists to inform the design of a technology probe that facilitates competence development to support cyclists in complex real-world contexts. Its evaluation shows the potential and limits of such a supportive technology. By connecting the findings across the case studies back to the literature, I then present a framework for HCI in utilitarian cycling. Therein I show that utilitarian cycling can be understood as a practice that is itself a composition of smaller sub-practices, each of which consists of a dynamic interplay between material things, competences, and meanings. These practices can then be distinguished into those that happen on-the-bicycle and those o�ff-the-bicycle. Furthermore, those practices di�ffer in their complexity. I identify four fields of practices – planning practices, choosing utilitarian cycling, manoeuvring practices, and handling practices – and show how my case studies and related work in HCI research contribute to understanding the role of digital technology within those practices. This thesis contributes to HCI research by presenting a condensed conceptual perspective for HCI interventions and utilitarian cycling. It ranges from an abstract and decontextualised to a specific and contextualised view on cycling. It provides a detailed description of cyclists’ experiences within complex real-world contexts, highlights the importance of both choices and social practices, and provides an understanding and examples for designing and embedding ICT as meaningful support in this realm. The insights presented here can thus inform future research and design on interactive technology for cycling.
... In behavioural economics, experience evaluation is strongly influenced by its most intense part and at the end, and is known as the peak-end rule. [15][16][17] For example, an inexpensive reward followed by a luxurious reward is positively evaluated than vice versa. [15] Therefore, more attention is paid to the peak experience that occurs at the end of an event. ...
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... Table 13.2 lists the ratings of the six evaluative indicators. The four-week online shift in Spring 2021 did not make a dent in the scores, even though negative experiences nearing the end of an event may cloud the entire experience as negative (see "memory-experience gap" in Miron-Shatz et al. 2009). Nor did using online exams-a much criticized method-impact "grading and feedback". ...
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... Table 13.2 lists the ratings of the six evaluative indicators. The four-week online shift in Spring 2021 did not make a dent in the scores, even though negative experiences nearing the end of an event may cloud the entire experience as negative (see "memory-experience gap" in Miron-Shatz et al. 2009). Nor did using online exams-a much criticized method-impact "grading and feedback". ...
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As instructors who experienced first-hand the abrupt transition from face-to-face to online teaching in March 2020 in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who continue to adapt to various online platforms and technologies for the T&I classroom in Taiwan, we argue that the online classroom has specific cultural advantages summed up as the 4Cs: immediacy, privacy, intimacy, and democracy. We discuss how these advantages ring especially true for the Chinese classroom, because it is one not known for intimate interaction or lively discussion, but rather a mirror of Confucian class divide shaped by the legacy of the Chinese civil service exams. Findings from regular course evaluations and targeted feedback from students in the US and Taiwan support our argument. The goal is a more inclusive adoption of multimodal learning foregrounding “social presence” that transcends the black-and-white argument of “in-person” versus “online”.
... Table 13.2 lists the ratings of the six evaluative indicators. The four-week online shift in Spring 2021 did not make a dent in the scores, even though negative experiences nearing the end of an event may cloud the entire experience as negative (see "memory-experience gap" in Miron-Shatz et al. 2009). Nor did using online exams-a much criticized method-impact "grading and feedback". ...
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... As such, the retrospective types of assessments have proven to be susceptible to various biases (Kahneman & Krueger, 2006;Robinson & Clore, 2002;Schwarz et al., 2009). For instance, studies among adult populations showed that estimates of how happy one has felt in the past tend to be more positive than average happiness as assessed via multi-moment episodic measures (Miron-Shatz et al., 2009). This incongruence has been conceptualized as the memory-experience gap and has also been confirmed among early adolescents. ...
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... First, Study 1 was a survey completed at a specific point in time, measuring what people were feeling as they completed the survey, and how they perceived their general emotional tendencies and beliefs about their ability to control specific emotions. Recall measures tend to produce higher ratings for emotions than daily diary ratings ("memory-experience gap"; Miron-Shatz et al., 2009). As such, recall measures are less informative regarding what people actually feel in daily life. ...
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... Therefore, future research could explore alternative ways to capture the impact that spending choices might have on one's well-being by combining the collection of individual well-being measures (e.g. life satisfaction, anxiety or self-esteem) and other indicators of health, interpersonal well-being or meaning in life collected before, during and after the consumption process through the use of diaries or smartphone applications (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010;Miron-Shatz et al., 2009). Along the same lines, future research could also further unravel the distinct effects that goal attainment through the purchase of consumer products might have on the different affective, cognitive and eudemonic components of well-being over time. ...
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... One common element to most studies is that the duration effect of the experience seems to have little impact on the memories it generates ). An analysis on a one-day hotel stay even demonstrated that the peak-end heuristic does not occur (Miron-Shatz et al., 2009). ...
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