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What are the two selves?

The experiencing self
The remembering self


What is the experienced utility?

Hedonic experience - pleasure and pain


What is the decision utility?

Wants and desires
Based on memory and projection


Asking people how unpleasant something is

At the time vs after the event judgements of pain in real colonscopies

Judgements were based on the worst moment and end moment, the total duration did not matter


Cold pressor experiment

60 seconds with hand in water at 14 degrees, as above plus 30 seconds at 15 degrees
choose which you would prefer to repeat

80% choose 2nd
if water was warmer at the end, didn't think it was so bad
people neglect duration and focus on worst point and end point


After death experiment

Feel bad for a person who was cheating on them, even if they never knew when they were alive


James dean effect

Jen lived to 30/60 happy or to 30/60 happy plus 5 years

ratings of total happiness of life were independent of total duration but strongly affected by whether the last five worse years were there


How to measure experience?

Measures of experienced well being


How to measure remembering?

Measures of evaluation of a whole life or part of it - making judgements about their life


Experienced well being

Stop and get asked how you are feeling right then
World poll - allows more and more people to be tested


EWB vs life evaluation - education

Increases life evaluation, but may decrease experienced well being because of stress and anxiety


EWB vs life evaluation - ill health, religion, having kids

Affects experienced well being, on the day, feel restricted by children

but overall, pleased having them


EWB vs life evaluation - wealth

Increases life evaluation but has little effect of experienced well being above 75k per household - if you earn more, don't feel any happier on day to day basis


Life evaluation facts

Marriage has little overall effect, but probably because it makes some things better and some worse - time with friends

Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it - focusing illusion

People think Californians are happier than average because they enjoy their climate, they do like their climate, but they don't spend much time thinking about it, so it doesn't have much impact


Life evaluation of colostomy patients and paraplegics

Typically have normal experienced well being, but state they would make large sacrifices (in terms of life expectancy) to be free of their conditions - poses problems for health care policy