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Focusing on the Focusing Illusion..


  • Beja, Edsel Jr.


The paper presents evidence that validate the focusing illusion. Specifically, the forecasted impact of a basketball championship on students’ subjective well-being was exaggerated because of their intense focus on the event. However, the self-reported states of being for life domains not closely associated with the focal event remained stable throughout the survey periods. Further analysis of the data finds that the exaggerated level of subjective well-being brought about by the focusing illusion had minimal spillover effects on the reported levels of subjective well-being for the other life domains.

Suggested Citation

  • Beja, Edsel Jr., 2013. "Focusing on the Focusing Illusion..," MPRA Paper 44366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44366

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Dolan & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2012. "Thinking about it: a note on attention and well-being losses from unemployment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 325-328, March.
    2. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
    3. Alex Michalos, 1985. "Multiple discrepancies theory (MDT)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 347-413, May.
    4. Dolan, Paul & Metcalfe, Robert, 2010. "'Oops...I did it again': Repeated focusing effects in reports of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 732-737, August.
    5. Naoki Nakazato & Ulrich Schimmack & Shigehiro Oishi, 2011. "Effect of Changes in Living Conditions on Well-Being: A Prospective Top–Down Bottom–Up Model," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 100(1), pages 115-135, January.
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    More about this item


    Focusing illusion; spillover; subjective well-being; happiness; life domains;

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • Y8 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines

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