Peak-End Rule

Peak-End Rule

What is it?

The Peak-End Rule is a psychological principle that suggests people tend to evaluate an experience based on the most intense (peak) moments and the final (end) moments, rather than considering the experience as a whole. This rule, proposed by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues, implies that the overall impression of an event is largely shaped by the most memorable moments, even if they do not accurately represent the entire experience.

The Peak-End Rule is the idea that when we look back on an experience, we mainly remember the best (or worst) part and how it ended, instead of the entire experience. Here are some simple examples to illustrate the concept:

  1. Vacation: Imagine you go on a week-long vacation. The first few days are uneventful, but on the fourth day, you have an amazing time at the beach. On the last day, you enjoy a delicious dinner at a fancy restaurant. When you recall the vacation later, you're likely to remember the great beach day and the wonderful dinner more than the uneventful days.

  2. Movie: You watch a two-hour movie that has a few dull moments, but there's one incredible action scene in the middle, and it ends with an emotional, heartwarming scene. When you think about the movie, you'll probably remember the action scene and the ending more than the dull parts.

  3. Dental appointment: You have a dental appointment that lasts an hour. Most of it is a routine checkup, but there's a brief moment of pain when the dentist cleans a sensitive tooth. The appointment ends with the dentist praising your oral hygiene. Later, you'll likely remember the pain and the praise more than the rest of th ...