Transformative Decisions and Their Discontents

John P. McCoy, Tomer Ullman


Abstract: In this commentary we engage with Paul’s Transformative Experience as it relates to decision making. We consider why deciding whether to undergo a transformative experiences can feel so agonizing yet also be so fun, whether people have any preferences to decide over in the first place, and who people even think they are.

Keywords: Transformative Experience; Big Decisions; Preference Construction; Theory of Self; Mental Effort


Decisioni trasformative e relative insoddisfazioni

Riassunto: In questo commento ci concentreremo su come il volume di L.A. Paul Transformative Experience affronta i processi decisionali. Esamineremo perché la decisione se intraprendere un’esperienza trasformativa possa risultare così struggente ed essere altresì divertente; se le persone abbiano in assoluto qualche preferenza nel prendere decisioni definitive e chi le persone persone ritengono di essere.

Parole chiave: Esperienza trasformativa; Grandi decisioni; Costruzione delle preferenze; Teoria del sé; Sforzo mentale


Parole chiave

Transformative Experience; Big Decisions; Preference Construction; Theory of Self; Mental Effort

Full Text


Riferimenti bibliografici

Ariely, D., Loewenstein, G., Prelec, D. (2006). Tom Sawyer and the Construction of Value. In: «Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization», vol. LX, n. 1, pp. 1-10.

Bartels, D.M, Rips, L.J. (2010). Psychological Connectedness and Intertemporal Choice. In: «Journal of Experimental Psychology: General», vol. CXXXIX, n. 1, pp. 49.

Chang, R. (2017). Hard Choices. In: «APA Journal of Philosophy», vol. XCII, pp. 586-620.

Chen, S.Y., Urminsky, O., Bartels, D.M. (2016). Beliefs About the Causal Structure of the Self-concept Determine Which Changes Disrupt Personal Identity. In: «Psychological Science», vol. XXVII, n. 10, pp. 1398-1406.

Gilbert, D. (2007). Stumbling on Happiness, Knopf, New York.

Hershfield, H.E. (2019). The Self Over Time. In: «Current Opinion in Psychology», vol. XXVI, pp. 72-75.

Hershfield, H.E., Bartels, D.M. (2018). The Future Self. In: G. Oettingen, A.T. Sevincer, P. Gollwitzer (eds.), Psychology of Thinking About the Future, Guilford Press, New York, pp. 89-109.

Homer (2017). Odyssey, book 19, translated by E. Wilson, Norton, New York.

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow, Ferrar, Straus & Giroux, New York/London.

Kahneman, D., Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk. In: «Econometrica», vol. XLVII, n. 2, 1979, pp. 263-292.

Lichtenstein, S., Slovic, P. (1971). Reversals of Preference Between Bids and Choices in Gambling Decisions. In: «Journal of Experimental Psychology», vol. LXXXIX, n. 1, pp. 46-55.

Lichtenstein, S., Slovic, P. (eds.) (2006), The Construction of Preference, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New York.

Loewenstein, G. (2005). Hot-Cold Empathy Gaps and Medical Decision Making. In: «Health Psychology», vol. XXIV, n. 4, Supplement, p. S49-56.

McCoy, J., Paul, L.A., Ullman, T. (2019). Modal Prospection. In: A. Goldman, B. McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 235-247.

Reiff, J.S., Hershfield, H.E., Quoidbach, J. (2019). Identity Over Time: Perceived Similarity Between Selves Predicts Well-Being 10 Years Later. In: «Social Psychological and Personality Science», online first April 23rd, 2019 – doi: 10.1177/1948550619843931.

Ross, L., Nisbett, R.E., Gladwell, M. (2011). The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology, Pinter & Martin, London.

Shenhav, A., Musslick, S., Lieder, F., Kool, W., Griffiths, T.L., Cohen, J.D., Botvinick, M.M. (2017). Toward a Rational and Mechanistic Account of Mental Effort. In: «Annual Review of Neuroscience», vol. XL, pp. 99-124.

Ullmann-Margalit, E. (2006). Big Decisions: Opting, Converting, Drifting. In: «Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements», vol. LVIII, pp. 157-172.

Ullmann-Margalit, E., Morgenbesser, S. (1977). Picking and Choosing. In: «Social Research», vol. XLIV, n. 4, pp. 757-785.

Urminsky, O., Bartels, D.M. (forthcoming). Identity, Personal Continuity, and Psychological Connectedness Across Time and Over Transformation. In: A. Reed II, Mark Forehand (eds.), Handbook of Research on Identity Theory in Marketing, Edward Elgar.


Copyright (c) 2019 Jhon P. McCoy, Tomer Ullman

URLdella licenza:

Rivista internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia - ISSN: 2039-4667 (print) - E-ISSN: 2239-2629 (online)

Registrazione al Tribunale di Milano n. 634 del 26-11-2010 - Direttore Responsabile: Aurelia Delfino

Web provider Aruba spa - Loc. Palazzetto, 4 - 52011 Bibbiena (AR) - P.IVA 01573850516 - C.F. e R.I./AR 04552920482

Licenza Creative Commons
Dove non diversamente specificato, i contenuti di Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia sono distribuiti con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione 4.0 Internazionale.