A hedonic story has a transmission advantage over a eudaimonic story

Kesebir, S, Oishi, S, Eggleston, C and Miao, F F (2014) A hedonic story has a transmission advantage over a eudaimonic story. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143 (6). pp. 2153-2166. ISSN 0096-3445


We examined (a) whether a hedonic story (story full of hedonic activities) is better remembered and transmitted compared with a eudaimonic story (story full of eudaimonic activities), and (b) whether the hedonic story’s memory and transmission advantage varies depending on contextual cues, as indexed by the day of the week. Study 1 showed that college students are surrounded with more party announcements on Wednesdays through Fridays than on Mondays and Tuesdays. Study 2 showed that the hedonic story and the eudaimonic story we created were equally interesting, rich in plot, surprising, and arousing, yet the hedonic story was rated as more disturbing, real, and newsworthy. In Studies 3 and 4, we used a serial reproduction method and found that the hedonic story was better recalled and transmitted to others than was the eudaimonic story, and that this effect was particularly strong when participants completed the study later in the week. Our findings suggest that a hedonic story is more communicable than a eudaimonic story, particularly when supported by environmental cues.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 18:51
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2022 00:32
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/75

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