Asymmetric use of information about past and future: Toward a narrative theory of forecasting

Samuel G. B. Johnson, David Tuckett

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Story-telling helps to define the human experience. Do narratives also inform our predictions and choices? The current study provides evidence that they do, using financial decision-making as an example of a domain where, normatively, publicly available information (about the past or the future) is irrelevant. Despite this, participants used past company performance information to project future price trends, as though using affectively laden information to predict the ending of a story. Critically, these projections were stronger when information concerned predictions about a company’s future performance rather than actual data about its past performance, suggesting that people not only rely on financially irrelevant (but narratively relevant) information for making predictions, but erroneously impose temporal order on that information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Minds
PublisherCurran Associates, Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781510872059
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2018
Event40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Changing Minds - Madison, Wisconsin, USA United States
Duration: 25 Jul 201828 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society
ISSN (Electronic)1069-7977


Conference40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Abbreviated titleCogSci 2018
Country/TerritoryUSA United States


Dive into the research topics of 'Asymmetric use of information about past and future: Toward a narrative theory of forecasting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this