Blessed are those who expect nothing: Lowering expectations as a way of avoiding disappointment

W.W. van Dijk, M. Zeelenberg, J. van der Pligt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)
    477 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    The present paper addresses a way in which people can try to avoid disappointment: namely, by lowering their expectations about obtaining a desired but uncertain outcome. It was hypothesized that people endorse this strategy when two specific (contextual) conditions are met. First, self-relevant feedback should be anticipated, and second this feedback should be anticipated in the near future. An experiment in which self-relevance and timing of the feedback about the outcome were manipulated supported this hypothesis. Results showed that participants only lowered their estimates about a test score, when feedback about their test score was self-relevant and anticipated close in time. Implications and functionality of the use of this strategy are briefly discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-516
    JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
    Volume24
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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