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ISQOLS Webinar, "Memory and subjective well-being"

  • 1 Nov 2023
  • 10:00 AM (PDT)
  • Online Webinar


  • The webinar is free for all participants.

Registration is closed

ISQOLS Webinar

"Memory and subjective well-being"

Wednesday, 1 November

10:00am PDT/1:00pm EDT/6:00pm CET

I will present several studies that explore different aspects of the interaction between memory and subjective satisfaction reports. In a first study, I find that those who are satisfied with their salary tend to think they earn more than what they actually do, and vice versa unsatisfied people. As a consequence, regression analysis from survey data may bring to a sizeable overestimation of the effect of income on satisfaction. In a second study, we use German panel data and compare the answer to the question “Which picture best represents how satisfied you have been over the last 10 years?", to the chronicle of their yearly reports of satisfaction. This exercise shows that people can, to some extent, recall their past satisfaction and that rescaling over time cannot be extreme. In a third study, based on British panel data, we find that while satisfied people recall the evolution of their life to be better than it was, unsatisfied ones tend to exaggerate its worsening. In a fourth and final study (in progress) we study perceived changes of satisfaction. We assess the validity and reliability of this type of data, and show that perceived changes outperform life satisfaction levels in post-dicting relevant life events. Finally, we assess the extent to which data on perceived changes is affected by memory errors.


Alberto Prati is an Assistant Professor in Economics at the University College of London, where he teaches Economic Psychology. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and as an Associate researcher at the London School of Economics. He has a BSc in Econometrics and a B.A. in Philosophy from Pantheon-Sorbonne University, a MRes. in Economics from the Paris School of Economics and a PhD in Economics from Aix-Marseille University. He works on interdisciplinary issues related to wellbeing measurement, memory, beliefs and sustainability. Last year, ISQOLS awarded Alberto's PhD dissertation with the Best Dissertation Award (2nd place).

The International Society for
Quality-of-Life Studies

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Gilbert, Arizona, 85299, USA


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