Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wait, wait -- don’t tell me the good news yet: Early warning about goal completion a buzzkill

Date:
July 28, 2014
Source:
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Summary:
New research finds that the positive reaction one would have when succeeding is lessened if it doesn't follow the expected course.

Set goal, work to achieve goal, attain goal and react accordingly -- that's the script we write when we set our sights on an achievement.

Related Articles


But what happens when the script isn't followed, and you learn too soon that you will accomplish what you set out to do? New research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that the positive reaction one would have when succeeding is lessened if it doesn't follow the expected course.

In "Feeling Good at the Right Time: Why People Value Predictability in Goal Attainment," Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science and marketing, and Nadav Klein, a doctoral student, found that when people learned, for example, that they would win a game, get a job offer or be accepted to college before their predetermined time, the experience was muted twice -- when they learned early, and then when the goal was achieved.

"We basically show that people want to feel good at the right time -- that is, when a goal is achieved and not before then," Fishbach says.

The researchers conducted four studies, and found that people made script-consistent errors in recalling an attained goal, that people were happier when good news followed the predetermined script, that people value goals less if they learn early that they will be achieving them, and that people had a mellowed reaction to achieving the goal if they were certain beforehand that the goal would be achieved.

"When people learn that a goal will be achieved before it actually is, they often try to suppress the positive emotion in order to feel it at the 'right time,'" Fishbach says. "The result is that people don't feel as happy when they get the news -- because it's not the right time -- as well as when the goal is officially achieved -- because by then it's no longer 'news.'"

Fishbach and Klein speculate that, among other possible reasons, this muting may occur because of the fragility of positive emotion, noting that it is much easier for a good mood to sour than it is to overcome a bad mood.

"Once positive emotion is 'tampered with,' it appears to be difficult to reignite," they write. "It appears that positive emotion can be dampened relatively easily, but reawakening it appears to be more difficult."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nadav Klein, Ayelet Fishbach. Feeling good at the right time: Why people value predictability in goal attainment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2014; 55: 21 DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.05.011

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "Wait, wait -- don’t tell me the good news yet: Early warning about goal completion a buzzkill." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140728104502.htm>.
University of Chicago Booth School of Business. (2014, July 28). Wait, wait -- don’t tell me the good news yet: Early warning about goal completion a buzzkill. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140728104502.htm
University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "Wait, wait -- don’t tell me the good news yet: Early warning about goal completion a buzzkill." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140728104502.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins