Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Daniel Kahneman: On Remembered Happiness

Daniel Kahneman had a fascinating presentation at the TED 2010 conference on experiential vs remembered happiness. One of the illogical quirks of humans, according to Kahneman, is that we make future decisions based on how happy we remember an experience and not on how happy we actually were while experiencing the actual event. This is an interesting and useful conclusion for everyone in business who wants return customers.

Kahneman presents an interesting example contrasting the "experiencing" self versus the "remembering" self with patients who underwent colonoscopies. I would recommend seeing the presentation, but cutting the example to its core: people whose entire experience was painful and short would have a better "rememberance" if the experience was a little longer and the pain and discomfort at the end was bearable. This would hold true even if the technician doing the colonoscopy would "continue" with the proceedure simply for show for a few momements.

How does this apply to customer experience, to your role as a business person or IA? Pay attention to your customers remembered happiness as well as the experiential.

Speakers from TED 2010

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