Date of Original Version




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Abstract or Description

The ability of an expectation to affect an experience depends upon whether a discrepancy is detected. It was hypothesized that attention plays a moderating role on the effect that expectations have on hedonic experience such that participants would be less likely to notice that a discrepancy exists if another task occupied more, rather than fewer, attentional resources. The results obtained were consistent with this hypothesis. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that participants rated unfunny cartoons as significantly funnier when their attention was being allocated elsewhere in terms of time pressure (Experiment 1) and high cognitive load (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 examined whether these results were due to assimilation or contrast, but was unsuccessful in the manipulation of attention, warranting further investigation.


Advisor: Carey Morewedge

Department of Social and Decision Sciences