The one nagging thing you still don’t understand about yourself

This is one of the best "time wasters" I've come across in some time.  Here is the upshot:

The email edition of the British Psychological Society's Research
Digest has reached the milestone of its 150th issue…To mark the occasion, the Digest editor has invited some of the world's leading psychologists to look inwards and share, in 150 words, one nagging thing they still don't understand about themselves.

Here is Paul Rozin's answer:

I generally believe that we learn from experience. However, a recent study
I did with Karlene Hanko repeats a finding from Kahneman and Snell,
that people are very poor at predicting how their liking will change
for a new product (in our case, two new foods and two new body
products) after using it for a week. We predicted that the parents of
our college undergraduates would be better than their children at
predicting their hedonic trajectory, but 25 more years of self
experience did nothing for them. Nor for me. Every night, I bring home
a pile of work to do in the evening and early morning. I have been
doing this for over 50 years. I always think I will actually get
through all or most of it, and I almost never get even half done. But I
keep expecting to accomplish it all. What a fool I am.

Here is Norbert Schwarz on incidental feelings:

One nagging thing I don’t understand about myself is why I’m still
fooled by incidental feelings. Some 25 years ago Jerry Clore and I studied
how gloomy weather makes one’s whole life look bad — unless one
becomes aware of the weather and attributes one’s gloomy mood to the
gloomy sky, which eliminates the influence. You’d think I learned that
lesson and now know how to deal with gloomy skies. I don’t, they still
get me. The same is true for other subjective experiences, like the processing fluency resulting from print fonts
– I still fall prey to their influence. Why does insight into how such
influences work not help us notice them when they occur? What makes the
immediate experience so powerful that I fail to apply my own theorizing
until some blogger asks a question that brings it to mind?

For the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.  By the way, I wonder if those are their real answers; I wouldn't tell you mine.


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