Situationist contributor Tim Wilson and Situationist friend Dan Gilbert have shown that, although we expect the outcomes of presidential elections to significantly influence how happy we feel, the evidence indicates otherwise. As with most things, our affective forecasting is not to be trusted. Gilbert summarizes one study this way:
Democrats predicted they’d be devastated if Bush won the last presidential election, they were not nearly as devastated as they predicted . . . , and yet several months later they remembered being just as devastated as they had expected to be. It turns out that this is a very common pattern of memory errors.
Our miswanting and misremembering reinforce our continued inability to forecast our own happiness.
But what do you think? Is this election different? Will your happiness level be seriously influenced by the outcome of this election? Answer the questions below.
[THE POLL QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN REMOVED. TO TAKE THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE QUESTIONS, CLICK HERE.]
If you think that this election will significantly influence your happiness level, please feel free to leave a comment explaining why.