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Does knowing how long a bad experience will last make it worse?

 

Rather than weakening affective episodes over time, duration knowledge actually intensifies them, rendering a positive experience more pleasurable and a negative experience more aversive,” the authors explain.

And:

In subsequent experiments the authors found that counting down during a positive experience weakens the enjoyment of participants but helps improve negative experiences. “Counting down an activity directs attention away from the activity to its end,” the authors write.

Duration knowledge prompts people to consider the state in which the ongoing experience terminates: an undesirable future state for pleasurable experiences and a desirable one for unpleasant experiences,” the authors conclude.

Source: Eurekalert

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