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Does Affective Forecasting Error Induce Changes in Preferences? Lessons from Danish Soldiers Anticipating Combat in Afghanistan

Abstract : This paper investigates how affective forecasting errors (A.F.E.s), the difference between anticipated emotion and the emotion actually experienced, may induce changes in preferences on time, risk and occupation after combat. Building on psychological theories incorporating the role of emotion in decision-making, we designed a before-and-after-mission survey for Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. Our hypothesis of an effect from A.F.E.s is tested by controlling for other mechanisms that may also change preferences: immediate emotion, trauma effect – proxied by post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.) – and changes in wealth and risk perception. At the aggregate level, results show stable preferences before and after mission. We find positive A.F.E.s for all three emotions studied (fear, anxiety and excitement), with anticipated emotions stronger than those actually experienced. We provide evidence that positive A.F.E.s regarding fear significantly increase risk tolerance and impatience, while positive A.F.E.s regarding excitement strengthen the will to stay in the military. Trauma has no impact on these preferences.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03620348
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - 8:33:06 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - 8:38:35 AM

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Olivier Chanel, Stéphanie Vincent Lyk-Jensen, Jean-Christophe Vergnaud. Does Affective Forecasting Error Induce Changes in Preferences? Lessons from Danish Soldiers Anticipating Combat in Afghanistan. Defence and Peace Economics, In press, pp.1-21. ⟨10.1080/10242694.2022.2037829⟩. ⟨hal-03620348⟩

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