We present five studies supporting our strategic memory protection theory. When people make decisions about experiences to consume over time, they treat their memories of previous experiences as assets to be protected. The first two studies demonstrate that people tend to avoid situations that they believe will threaten their ability to retrieve special (rather than merely pleasant) memories. The next three studies demonstrate that people seek to obtain memory pointers to help them cue special memories at a later time when they anticipate interference from subsequent events. These preferences are driven by people’s lay theories about the importance and difficulty of obtaining and retrieving special memories.
Zauberman, G., Ratner, R. K., &Kim, B. K. (2008). Memories as assets: Strategic memory protection in choice over time. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(5), 715-728.