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When positive thinking leads to financial irresponsibility like compulsive gambling
Date:4/21/2008

onversely, Cowley found that winners those who experienced 298 small wins were happier when the big win and the big loss were closer together, allowing them to lump all the games together and ignore the big loss. She termed this the cancellation effect.

When the outcome of an experience including both positive and negative events results in a net gain, people look for ways to integrate positive and negative events to reduce, if not cancel, the pain associated with the negative events, Cowley explains.

The research is the first to consider a motivated memory explanation for justifying irresponsible behavior. Apparently, positive thinking can sometimes be negative.

Elizabeth Cowley, The Perils of Hedonic Editing. Journal of Consumer Research: June 2008.


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Contact: Suzanne Wu
swu@press.uchicago.edu
209-608-2038
University of Chicago Press Journals
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