Similar to Dan Gilbert and Tim Wilson’s work on affective forcasting, a new article was recently published in Psychological Science investigating how we predict we will feel. In one of the experiments, 27 students were asked to predict the grade they would receive. They were also asked to describe how much regret and rejoicing they would experience if their actual mark was higher or lower than they expected. After receiving their grade, they reported how they actually felt.

Overall, the students underestimated the mark they received, but they overestimated how delighted this better-than-expected result made them feel. Thus, the findings suggest we overestimate how despondent bad outcomes will make us feel, and we overestimate how pleased good outcomes will make us feel.

Sevdalis, N. & Harvey, N. (2007). Biased forecasting of postdecisional affect. Psychological Science, 18, 678-681.