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Why Experiences

Anticipation – A Powerful Benefit of Life Experiences

It’s a well-known fact that experiences are invaluable because of the memories they produce. Whether we are recalling the heart-pounding moment of excitement and pride in crossing the finish at our first half-marathon, or the tranquil & surreal feeling of relaxing on a tropical beach with a loved one, memories consistently provide us with long-lasting happiness.


But in addition to the rosy after-effects of experience, new research confirms that there is another powerful benefit of experience –anticipation. A new paper, Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases, by Cornell’s Thomas Gilovich, dives into the psychology of the anticipation leading up to an experience.


The findings?  Four separate studies demonstrate that:

  • People derive more happiness from the anticipation of purchasing experiences than material goods
  • Waiting for an experience tends to be more pleasurable and exciting than waiting to receive a material good


What does that mean as far as using experiences as an incentive for your employees? The benefits of using experiential incentives begin long before your employees are actually taking that celebratory Mixology Class. As soon as the picture of an amazing experience is painted, positive anticipation kicks in, and employees feel great.


If you’re interested in injecting a more positive culture into your team, click here to learn more about our experiential employee rewards.

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