Simple Pleasures, Small Annoyances, and Goal Progress in Daily Life
- Mead et al (2016)
Abstract: Despite the explosion of research on goal pursuit, relatively little is known about the shaping of goal progress by the simple experiences that characterize everyday life. Two literatures furnish competing predictions about the relationship between pleasant daily experiences (simple pleasures), unpleasant daily experiences (small annoyances), and day-to-day goal progress. A six-day experience-sampling study revealed support for the favored integrative account. On a given day, a relatively high number of simple pleasures offset the negative relationship between the number of small annoyances and goal progress through a restoration of daily happiness rather than a reduction of daily stress. This study highlights the bright side of pleasurable experiences, indicating that goal progress can flourish in a life punctuated with frequent simple pleasures because they help offset daily irritations. As natural precursors to positive and negative affect, simple pleasures and small annoyances could be powerful predictors of important consumer outcomes.