The Perils of Hedonic Editing
Retrospective hedonic editing occurs when people combine events to frame a previous experience in its most positive light. Although reflecting positively on the past has psychological and physiological benefits, it may also be used to justify potentially irresponsible behavior. In a gambling context the consequences may be perilous. The results of study 1 show that when they have the opportunity, potentially irresponsible gamblers use hedonic editing strategies to reconstruct the past as more positive. The more positive memory provides them with evidence to support their desired outcome-playing again. The results of studies 2 and 3 reveal that the processes underlying hedonic editing include both the temporal categorization of positive and negative events and the strategic allocation of attention. Study 3 also investigates the independence of motivation and opportunity. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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