Missing Amplification Effect: Focusing Missing Leads to Low Happiness Experience
Tan Fei
Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2015.616214   PDF   HTML   XML   4,618 Downloads   5,124 Views  


Prospect theory study found that people’s perception of the loss was greater than the strength obtained (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979), and the cognitive processes of “priority processing trend of negative events” thought that negative events would be priority processing than positive events (Huang & Luo, 2009). Researchers infer that when people focus on the lack of real life, it will produce the missing amplification effect, and this will further affect people’s well-being experiences. We used three experiments to test our hypotheses. Experiment 1 was between subjects design, and found that focusing missing was widespread, in addition, focusing missing and happy experience were negative correlation; Experiment 2 was picture experiment, and found that “missing amplification effect” existed. The greater the missing amplified effect, the lower the happiness; Experiment 3 merged experiment 1 and experiment 2, And found that the intermediary role between focusing missing and happy experience. Through the above three experiments, we concluded that: focusing missing leaded low happy experience, and missing amplification effect was the psychological mechanisms to explain why the focusing missing leaded to the low happy experience.

Share and Cite:

Fei, T. (2015) Missing Amplification Effect: Focusing Missing Leads to Low Happiness Experience. Psychology, 6, 2171-2187. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.616214.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., & Bulters, A. J. (2004). The Loss Spiral of Work Pressure, Work—Home Interference and Exhaustion: Reciprocal Relations in a Three-Wave Study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64, 131-149.
[2] Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.
[3] Hayes, A. F. (2013). An Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis: A Regression-Based Approach. New York: Guilford Press.
[4] Huang, Y. X., & Luo, Y. J. (2009). Can Negative Stimuli Always Have the Processing Superiority? Acta Psychologica Sinica, 41, 822-831.
[5] Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk. Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, 47, 263-291.
[6] Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2006). Would You Be Happier If You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion. Science, 312, 1908-1910.
[7] Propper, C., & Wilson, D. (2003). The Use and Usefulness of Performance Measures in the Public Sector. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 19, 250-267.
[8] Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2004). SPSS and SAS Procedures for Estimating Indirect Effects in Simple Mediation Models. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 36, 717-731.
[9] Rozin, P., & Royzman, E. B. (2001). Negativity Bias, Negativity Dominance, and Contagion. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 296-320.
[10] Radel, R., & Clement-Guillotin, C. (2012). Evidence of Motivational Influences in Early Visual Perception: Hunger Modulates Conscious Access. Psychological Science, 23, 232-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797611427920
[11] Schkade, D. A., & Kahneman, D. (1998). Does Living in California Make People Happy? A Focusing Illusion in Judgments of Life Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 9, 340-346.
[12] Sandberg, D. E. (2007). Focusing Illusion: Wealth, Height, and Happiness. Growth, Genetics & Hormones, 23, 27-28.
[13] Shah, A. K., Mullainathan, S., & Shafir, E. (2012). Some Consequences of Having Too Little. Science, 338, 682-685.
[14] Wilson, T. D., Wheatley, T., & Meyers, J. M., (2000). Focalism: A Source of Durability Bias in Affective Forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 821-836.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.