Investigating the role of time in affective forecasting: Temporal influences on forecasting accuracy

Catrin Finkenauer, Marcello Gallucci, Wilco W. van Dijk, Monique Pollmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Using extensive diary data from people taking their dri- ver’s license exam, the authors investigated the role of time in affective forecasting accuracy. Replicating exist- ing findings, participants grossly overestimated the inten- sity and duration of their negative affect after failure and only slightly overestimated the intensity and duration of their positive affect after success. Extending existing find- ings, participants accurately predicted a decrease of their affective reactions over time but underestimated the speed with which this decrease would occur. In addition, they showed greater forecasting accuracy for positive affect than negative affect when the exam was distant and greater forecasting accuracy for negative affect than pos- itive affect when the exam was close. The motivational processes underlying these findings are being discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1152-1166
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • affective experiences
  • affective forecasting
  • temporal biases


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