The Science of Decisions

 

Decision-making is a cognitive process that allows us to evaluate information based on our values, preferences and beliefs and make a choice between two or more options. 

 

The way our brain understands our experiences is by using information around us as reference points, which allows us to compare and evaluate what we are experiencing. 

 

Every decision we make is in the context of other information.

 

 

In one study the question was how happy would you be about eating potato chips. Intuitively, we might think that you will either be happy about eating chips or not. 

 

Two reference points were created: the experimenter placed either chocolate or sardines on the table next to the package of chips. 

 

Turns out the participants enjoyed the chips more when there were sardines on the table and less when they ate them next to chocolate.

The chips were exactly the same, but the context that they were presented in (e.g. disgusting sardines or delicious chocolate) affected how much they enjoyed them. 

 

Whether we are aware of it or not, everything around us influences our experiences, and thus our happiness.

 

A memory of the past is an essential element of present well-being because memories give us a reference point to define our present happiness.

The endowment effect

A memory of the past is an essential element of present well-being because memories give us a reference point to define our present happiness. 

How memories affect our current sense of well-being is complicated though: they can either be a source of happiness or unhappiness. 

The endowment effect refers to when an event directly contributes to one’s happiness: good things will make us happier, while bad things make us unhappier. 

Research has also shown that people who endowed or savoured positive past events but didn’t endow or dwell on negative past events, reported greater levels of happiness.

At hiMoment, we believe that we can use our own memories to boost our happiness if we focus on positive rather than negative ones.

 

We focus on creating subjective and always positive reference points. 

 

That is why in Boost, we present you with two of your hiMoments and you need to decide which one made you happier.

 

We think that the most important decision to make to boost your happiness is to ask yourself which hiMoment makes you happier.