Every person is capable of experience a dazzling range of different mental states. These include cognitive states, such as planning, decision-making, or calculation, as well as emotional states such as joy, misery, exhilaration, or exhaustion. In this study, we are interested in learning what people like you believe about the durations of these states, that is, how long emotions last. In particular, we are interested in two aspects of people's beliefs about emotions: 1) what are the perceived differences in average length between different emotions, and 2) what does the shape of the distribution of emotion durations look like, averaging across different emotions?
The task you will engage in consists of predicting the duration of others' mental states. You will be presented with the name of a particular mental state (emotional or cognitive) and told that someone has been experiencing it for a certain length of time already. Your goal will be to predict how long in total that mental state will last. Your answer will be an educated guess based on what you know about the people in general, and the small amount of information we provide you (i.e. the duration of the mental state so far). Using Bayes theorem we can use your responses to reverse-engineer your implicit theory about how emotions last over time. At the end of the study, you will receive personalized feedback about which of three possible theories of emotions your responses reflect. You will also learn how many other participants share this theory with you, versus relying on one of the other two. If you wish to participate in this emotion duration prediction study, please click the 'begin' button below.