The Retrospective Evaluation of Positive and Negative Affect

Yoav Ganzach*, Einat Yaor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A vast amount of literature examined the relationship between retrospective affective evaluations and evaluations of affective experiences. This literature has focused on simple momentary experiences, and was based on a unidimensional concept of affect. The current article examines the relationships between evaluations of complex experiences, experiences involving both positive and negative feelings, and the retrospective evaluation of these experiences. Based on the idea that negative information is better remembered than positive information, we predict that in comparison with negative retrospective evaluations, positive evaluations have a stronger correlation with end affect and a weaker correlation with peak affect. These predictions are tested in two studies. We explore boundary conditions for these effects and demonstrate the implications of the asymmetry between positive and negative affect to various topics that are at the center of affect research: the dimensionality of affective experiences, the memory-experience gap, and the analysis of net affect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • emotions
  • judgment and decision making
  • positive and negative affect
  • retrospective utility


Dive into the research topics of 'The Retrospective Evaluation of Positive and Negative Affect'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this