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Joint comment on “When does duration matter in judgment and decision making?” (Ariely

By Dan Ariely, Daniel Kahneman and George Loewenstein

Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated that people care about the temporal relationships within a sequence of experiences. There is considerable evidence that people pay particular attention to the way experiences improve or deteriorate over time and to their maximum (peak) and final values. D. Kahneman and coauthors suggested in earlier articles that people ignore or severely underweight duration (which they referred to as duration neglect). In the preceding article, D. Ariely and G. Loewenstein (2000) eiiallenged the generalizability of these findings and their normative implications. In the current commentary, D. Ariely, D. Kahneman, and G. Loewenstein jointly examine the issue to provide a better understanding of what they feel they have learned from this literature and to discuss the remaining open questions. Areas of Complete Agreement We are in agreement that when people evaluate experiences retrospectively, they do not play back the equivalent of a movie but instead tend to recall speciftc salient features of the experience--for example, the peak (or trough), ending value, and slope. We also agree---although none of us has discussed it previously in print-that for many experiences, the most important feature may be th

Year: 2000
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