Peak-End Rule

  • The Peak-end rule refers to when people evaluate an experience based on how they felt at its peak and at its end. Here, we see that Shawna evaluates a date with her husband based on the highlights and how it ended; she describes the rodeo as a highlight, but the overall night as a bust because of what Nathan said to her.
  • In characterizing how she felt about her experience based on the peak and the end, Shawna’s memory of the night is skewed.
  • This is something to be mindful of when categorizing our lived experiences. The next time you’re quick to say that something went terribly, ask yourself, am I only looking at the peak and the end?

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