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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe three studies reported here examined the role of expectations in determining an individual's satisfaction with a real or hypothetical outcome. More specifically, this work looked at the accuracy of individuals in predicting their affective responses to expected and unexpected outcomes in various settings. Finally, three variables thought to have an effect on affective response were manipulated in order to examine their role in judgments of satisfaction with outcomes. In the first study, undergraduate subjects read scenarios containing the expectations of an individual about some event. Subjects made predictions about how these individuals might feel about outcomes better than, worse than or the same as what had been expected. The second study involved the expectations of bowlers about their scores in an upcoming game. Prior to beginning the game, bowlers predicted their scores and what their affective responses would be for outcomes better than, worse than, or equal to their expectations. After the game, their responses were recorded and compared to the predictions. The final study involved the expectations of hotel managers about important measures of business productivity. Some time before the relevant outcome would be learned, managers made predictions about the outcomes and their affective responses to other potential outcomes better than, worse than, or equal to their expectation. These studies show that bowlers and managers do very well at predicting affective responses to outcomes, both expected and unexpected. This is especially true for one subset of our subjects, whose predicted affect curve closely resembles the actual responses.
Degree ProgramGraduate College