How endings of our experiences influence our memories

I’ve just watched the TED talk “The riddle of experience vs. memory”. It’s worth watching, as he makes us think about the two different ways of perceiving happiness.

Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy — and our own self-awareness.

An interesting learning is that endings of our experiences influence a lot on our memories. They did a study with 2 patients doing a colonoscopy and they recorded their reported pain every 60 seconds.

Objectively, patient A suffered mush less than patient B. However patient A reported a worse experience than patient B. The reason is that the pain was really high at the end of the colonoscopy. To test this idea, they did another study with those patients; the medical test of patient A lasted 2 more minutes with just mild pain. On this occasion, patient A remembered much less pain despite it was the same amount than before.

Applying this learning to products or services we can realize than even if we have the best user onboarding and the best experience on our app, the user will have a bad memory of us if he has a poor experience at the end.