We investigated the long-standing—yet previously untested—idea that an abundance of desirable life experiences may undermine people’s ability to savor simpler pleasures. In Study 1, we found that the more countries individuals had visited, the less inclined they were to savor a future trip to a pleasant, but ordinary destination. In Study 2, we conducted a field experiment at a popular tourist attraction, where we manipulated participants’ perceptions of their own experiential backgrounds; when participants were led to feel well-travelled, they devoted significantly less time to their visit compared to individuals who were led to feel less worldly. We replicated these findings in Study 3, finding evidence that the observed effect could not be easily explained by other mechanisms. Being a world traveller—or just feeling like one—may undermine the proclivity to savor visits to enjoyable, but less extraordinary destinations by endowing individuals with a sense of abundance.
Quoidbach, J., Dunn, E., Hansenne, M., and Bustin, G. (2014).
Jordi Quoidbach is Associate Professor at Pompeu Fabra University’s Department of Economics and Business. He has a PhD from the University of Liège, Belgium. His research has been published in journals such as Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Psychological Science, and is often covered in popular media such as CNN, BBC, and The New York Times. Quoidbach has written several popular books on happiness and emotions. Jordi Quoidbach teaches Business Negotiations and Managing Happiness at the UPF Barcelona School of Management.
Elizabeth W. Dunn, University of British Columbia http://dunn.psych.ubc.ca/
Michel Hansenne, University of Liège (Belgium) http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michel_Hansenne
Gaëlle Bustin, PhD University of Liège (Belgium)