“Mundane” events can bring unexpected joy later
A new study published in Psychological Science says that events you do as part of your everyday routine may bring you happiness when you remember them in the future.
Harvard Business School researchers had 135 college students make a time capsule in the beginning of summer. They included comments on recent experiences and conversations they had, the last social outing they did, three songs they were listening to, and a section from their final paper. Then they ranked how meaningful the events would be when they read it over later.
Three months later, the student read their time capsules. Turns out the students were much more interested in these simple everyday events than they had anticipated. In fact, they found that they experienced considerable joy upon rediscovering their mundane memories.
The researchers said that the study reinforces the belief that people have too high expectations for special experiences and too low expectations for everyday experiences.