ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1544-1550.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01544

• Research Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The effect of focusing missing on instant happy experience

TAN Fei1; LI Aimei1; SUN Hailong1; HOU Fen2   

  1. (1 Management School, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China) (2 Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, Zhuhai 519087, China)
  • Received:2016-03-08 Online:2016-10-15 Published:2016-10-15
  • Contact: LI Aimei, E-mail:; SUN Hailong, E-mail:


Based on the theory of resource scarcity and focusing illusion, we used two studies to test whether focusing missing affects instant feelings of happiness. In Study 1, we adopted the graphical focusing task to examine the relationship between the focusing missing and instant happy experience. The results showed that compared with the no-focusing missing group, focusing missing participants who preferred to choose missing pictures to represent their current life were easier to experience focusing missing phenomenon. In Study 2, we used the priming method to examine the impact of focusing missing on instant happy experience. Through the manipulation of focusing missing level, the results showed that compared to low focusing missing, high focusing missing makes one’s emotional happiness much lower. Initially, it has also been proved that one usually overestimates the proportion of missing in the whole life, and it exists the phenomenon of “amplification of missing”. Unlike former focusing illusion researches focus on affective forecasting bias, we make a further step on instant happy experience. Meanwhile, its focus is to transfer from “material scarcity” to “abstract missing”. In conclusion, the results suggest that focusing missing will influence individual happy experience, and missing amplification effect may occur as a consequence.

Key words: focusing illusion, focusing missing, emotional happiness, amplification of missing