Your life satisfaction will change more than you think: A comment on Harris and Busseri (2019)

Published on Jun 1, 2020in Journal of Research in Personality
· DOI :10.1016/J.JRP.2020.103937
Jordi Quoidbach20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Ramon Llull University),
Daniel T. Gilbert65
Estimated H-index: 65
(Harvard University),
Timothy D. Wilson78
Estimated H-index: 78
(UVA: University of Virginia)
Source
Abstract
Abstract Harris and Busseri [Harris, H., & Busseri, M.A. (2019). Is there an ‘end of history illusion’ for life satisfaction? Evidence from a three-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Research in Personality, 83, 103869] examined the changes in life satisfaction people predicted vs. experienced for 30-years based on the three waves of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) survey. They conclude that “Contrary to the EOHI [end of history illusion], most individuals either were accurate or anticipated too much change into the future, rather than too little” (abstract). Examining these same data we arrive at the opposite conclusion, that people systematically underestimate future changes to their life satisfaction. The discrepancy arises because Harris and Busseri find stability in the average life satisfaction across the entire sample, while we find instability in life satisfaction within individuals. Both of these can happen. Although the average altitude of all the elevators in a skyscraper is remarkably stable over time, the altitude of each elevator changes by the second.
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
2 Citations
2009
1 Author (Bruce Headey)
References8
Newest
#1Holly Harris (Brock University)H-Index: 1
#2Michael A. Busseri (Brock University)H-Index: 28
Abstract According to the ‘end of history illusion’ (EOHI) individuals underestimate the amount of future change they will experience. Using results from a three-wave longitudinal study of American adults (N = 2390, mean age = 55.31 years, 56% female), we examined ratings of recollected past (10 years prior), current, and anticipated future (10 years later) life satisfaction at Wave 2, as well as current life satisfaction at Wave 1 (nine years earlier) and at Wave 3 (nine years later). Younger a...
3 CitationsSource
#1Gregg G. Van Ryzin (RU: Rutgers University)H-Index: 32
The ‘end of history illusion’ refers to the tendency of people to underestimate change in their future values and preferences. Could this cognitive bias apply to the work motivations of those in public service? To examine this question, a sample of public service professionals was asked about their current work motivations and then randomized to be ‘reporters’, who recalled their work motivations 10 years ago, and ‘predictors’, who forecast their work motivations 10 years from now. Predictors ex...
5 CitationsSource
#1Louis Renoult (UEA: University of East Anglia)H-Index: 12
#2Leia Kopp (U of O: University of Ottawa)H-Index: 3
Last. Cristina M. Atance (U of O: University of Ottawa)H-Index: 21
view all 5 authors...
It has been argued that adults underestimate the extent to which their preferences will change over time. We sought to determine whether such mispredictions are the result of a difficulty imagining that one's own current and future preferences may differ or whether it also characterizes our predictions about the future preferences of others. We used a perspective-taking task in which we asked young people how much they liked stereotypically young-person items (e.g., Top 40 music, adventure vacat...
11 CitationsSource
#1Jordi Quoidbach (National Fund for Scientific Research)H-Index: 20
#2Daniel T. Gilbert (Harvard University)H-Index: 65
Last. Timothy D. Wilson (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 78
view all 3 authors...
We measured the personalities, values, and preferences of more than 19,000 people who ranged in age from 18 to 68 and asked them to report how much they had changed in the past decade and/or to predict how much they would change in the next decade. Young people, middle-aged people, and older people all believed they had changed a lot in the past but would change relatively little in the future. People, it seems, regard the present as a watershed moment at which they have finally become the perso...
126 CitationsSource
#1Brent W. Roberts (UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)H-Index: 94
#2Daniel K. Mroczek (Purdue University)H-Index: 44
Recent longitudinal and cross-sectional aging research has shown that personality traits continue to change in adulthood. In this article, we review the evidence for mean-level change in personality traits, as well as for individual differences in change across the life span. In terms of mean-level change, people show increased self-confidence, warmth, self-control, and emotional stability with age. These changes predominate in young adulthood (age 20–40). Moreover, mean-level change in personal...
977 CitationsSource
#1Filip De Fruyt (UGent: Ghent University)H-Index: 17
#2Meike Bartels (VU: VU University Amsterdam)H-Index: 67
Last. Ivan Mervielde (UGent: Ghent University)H-Index: 34
view all 6 authors...
This study examines 5 types of personality continuity—structural, mean-level, individual-level, differential, and ipsative—in a representative population (N 498) and a twin and sibling sample (N 548) of children and adolescents. Parents described their children on 2 successive occasions with a 36-month interval using the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (I. Mervielde & F. De Fruyt, 1999). There was evidence for structural continuity in the 2 samples, and personality was shown to b...
335 CitationsSource
Demonstration of a high longitudinal stability of inter-individual diferences in behaviour has been one traditional goal of personality psychology. In recent years, impressively high longitudinal correlations have been reported for seu- and other-ratings of behaviour in adulthood, indicating a high overall stability of personality differences in that period of development. However, even 5-year correlations around 0.70 do not exclude major deviations of some of the subjects from this overall stab...
65 CitationsSource
#1Trevor Hastie (South African Medical Research Council)H-Index: 124
#2Robert Tibshirani (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 154
Abstract Generalized additive models have the form η(x) = α + σ fj (x j ), where η might be the regression function in a multiple regression or the logistic transformation of the posterior probability Pr(y = 1 | x) in a logistic regression. In fact, these models generalize the whole family of generalized linear models η(x) = β′x, where η(x) = g(μ(x)) is some transformation of the regression function. We use the local scoring algorithm to estimate the functions fj (xj ) nonparametrically, using a...
284 CitationsSource
Cited By1
Newest
#1Michael A. Busseri (Brock University)H-Index: 28
#2H. Harris (Brock University)
Abstract Contrary to the ‘end of history illusion’, in a longitudinal sample of American adults Harris and Busseri (2019) found that most individuals were accurate or expected too much change in their future life satisfaction, rather than expecting too little change. Quoidbach, Gilbert, and Wilson (2020) suggested that the discrepancy in conclusions arose because we focused on mean-level trends rather than individual differences. Here we clarify that the discrepancy stems from the analysis of di...
Source