Everybody always says you should live in the moment – but there is something to be said for anticipation.
People always say you should be in the moment but if you do that you may not enjoy things as much as you would if you had planned ahead of time. Research by myself and two of my students (Sara Armor and Kenny Vukmanic) found that students who had firms plans weeks before spring break enjoyed spring break more than those who were spontaneous. Why is this? When we plan ahead we create this sense of anticipation which is a positive feeling, then when the event is over, even if it wasn’t ideal the person still benefited from this sense of anticipation. Sara and Kenny are going to present their research at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) annual meeting, this Winter in San Antonio. For a preview of the work I’ve attached the poster here. spsp-poster-anticipation-october-2016.