Mitchell, T. R., Thompson, L., Peterson, E., & Cronk, R. (1997). Temporal adjustments in the evaluation of events: The "rosy view." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 421-428.
In a series of three investigations we examined people’s anticipation of, actual experiences
in, and subsequent recollection of meaningful life events: a trip to Europe, a
Thanksgiving vacation, and a 3-week bicycle trip in California. The results of all three
studies supported the hypothesis that people’s expectations of personal events are more
positive than their actual experience during the event itself, and their subsequent recollection
of that event is more positive than the actual experience. The ‘‘rosy view’’ phenomenon
is associated with an increase in the number of negative thoughts during the event
which seem to be caused by distractions, disappointment, and a less positive view of the
self. However, these effects are short-lived; within days after the event, people have much
more positive evaluations of the event. We discuss alternative interpretations for our
findings and implications for group and organizational settings.