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Happiness. Subjective well-being. The extent of happiness. What percent of US adults consider themselves happy most or all of the time? 80% happy most of the time. 80% consider themselves optimists. How accurate do you think these statistics are?. Some people are skeptical.

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happiness

Happiness

Subjective well-being

the extent of happiness
The extent of happiness
  • What percent of US adults consider themselves happy most or all of the time?
  • 80% happy most of the time.
  • 80% consider themselves optimists.
  • How accurate do you think these statistics are?
some people are skeptical
Some people are skeptical
  • Pessimists are better judges of reality.
  • Don’t look at the world through rose colored glasses.
  • Must be willing to keep an open mind.
  • Nurture optimism in ourselves and others.
elements of subjective well being
Elements of subjective well-being
  • 1. Happiness:
  • --an emotional state.
  • --how you feel about yourself and the world.
  • 2. Satisfaction with Life:
  • --more global judgment about your acceptance with your life.
  • --more of a cognitive assessment.
how happy are we
How happy are we?
  • Time magazine poll (12/2004)
  • “Would you say that so far you have lived
  • --the best possible life you could have.
  • --a very good life
  • --a good life
  • --a fair life
  • --a poor life
how happy are we results
How happy are we? Results.
  • Time magazine poll (12/2004)
  • “Would you say that so far you have lived
  • --the best possible life. 13%
  • --a very good life 37%
  • --a good life 33%
  • --a fair life 15%
  • --a poor life 2%
  • Good + very good + best possible = 83%
last element of swb
Last element of SWB
  • 3. Emotional stability:
  • --low level of neuroticism.
  • --lack of serious personality flaws.
  • Neurosis: “poor ability to adapt to one's environment, an inability to change one's life patterns, and the inability to develop a richer, more complex, more satisfying personality." (Boeree, 2002)
how do we measure swb
How do we measure SWB?
  • Most widely used scale developed by Ed Diener
  • “Dr. Happiness”
slide10
Not at all Moderately Absolutely

true true true

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

  • In most ways my life is close to my ideal.

2. The conditions of my life are excellent.

3. I am satisfied with my life

slide11
Not at all Moderately Absolutely

true true true

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.

5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

scoring the diener swb
Scoring the Diener SWB
  • 31-35 Extremely satisfied
  • 26-30 Very satisfied
  • 21-25 Slightly satisfied
  • 20 Neutral point
  • 15-19 Slightly dissatisfied
  • 10-14 Dissatisfied
  • 5-9 Extremely dissatisfied
can we trust self report
Can we trust self report?
  • Is person telling the truth
  • Or giving socially acceptable answer?
  • Diener found high correlation between self report and reports of family and friends of subject.
  • Joe and Joe’s spouse and friends.
  • Other’s perceive same happieness.
  • Also agreement with overt behavior of subject (actions and expressions).
what do numbers represent
What do numbers represent?
  • Not at all Moderately Absolutely

true true true

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Rank ordered scale (ordinal data) not

“real numbers” like height and weight (ratio data).

But, after all, this is called subjective well-being.

Even IQ is really a subjective construct.

is swb stable over time
Is SWB stable over time?
  • All have mood swings.
  • Some days better than others.
  • Get good or bad news.
  • Solution: Event sampling.
  • Csikszentmihalyi gave subjects pagers.
  • When pager beeps, have to enter mood and activity into a journal or mini computer.
  • SWB small changes but quite stable.
changes in swb
Changes in SWB
  • Life crisis will cause a dip.
  • Celebration will cause a rise.
  • But SWB quite consistent.
  • A few long term studies.
aging with grace
Aging with Grace
  • David Snowdon
  • Longitudinal study
  • Essays written when take their vows.
  • Those who expressed positive themes had high SWB at advanced age.
  • Low level of Alzheimer’s.
yearbook pictures
Yearbook pictures
  • Harker and Kettner (2001)
  • Compared college yearbook photos with SWB 30 years later.
  • Looking for Duchenne smile.
  • Duchenne did first studies on facial expressions (1862) in France.
varieties of smile
Varieties of smile
  • Pan American smile
  • Duchenne smile
varieties of smile20
Varieties of smile
  • Duchenne vs. Pan American smiles
  • Correlates of Duchenne smile
    • Greater enjoyment
    • Broad smile that you can read in the eyes.
    • Seen in lower photo.
smiles and swb
Smiles and SWB
  • Women with Duchenne smiles in college yearbook photos.
  • 30 years later:
  • Had happier marriages
  • Felt less stress
  • Had higher SWB scores.
  • Conclusion SWB stable over time.
  • Related to psychological wellness.
psychological components of swb
Psychological components of SWB
  • Ed Diener and David Myers
  • 1. High self esteem
  • Most important predictor of SWB
  • Western cultures value individual achievement and success
  • Eastern cultures value group success.
  • Self esteem tied to group membership.
psychological components 2
Psychological components #2
  • 2.Sense of perceived control.
  • Belief some measure of control over life events (in cases where possible).
  • Rutter: Locus of Control
  • Internal locus best.
  • Newer term: personal control: belief that you can effect outcomes.
not always in control
Not always in control
  • Some occasions may turn over control.
  • Example: higher power in AA.
  • Relinquish perceived control.
  • Hurricane, floods, acts of God.
  • Events outside your control.
  • Wisdom to know when to depend on this belief.
psychological components 3
Psychological components #3
  • 3. Extroversion
  • Higher SWB in people who are interested in things outside themselves.
  • Extroverts generally have higher SWB.
  • Seek and enjoy company of others.
  • Doesn’t mean that all introverts are unhappy.
  • Introverts prefer join a few close friends.
psychological components 4
Psychological components #4
  • Optimism
  • “a tendency to expect the best possible outcome; to dwell on the most hopeful aspect of a situation.”
  • Look to the future with hope and positive expectations.
  • Optimistic explanatory style
explanatory style example
Explanatory style example
  • Professor doesn’t return my phone call about writing a recommendation.
  • Negative:
  • professor hates me; he is ignoring me.
  • Positive:
  • out of town, will respond when he returns.
  • Make another call in a week.
psychological components 5
Psychological components #5
  • 5. Positive social relationships
  • High correlations of SWB with satisfaction with family and friends.
  • Social support and emotional intimacy.
  • Important for physical and psychological health.
  • Strongest external source of SWB.
  • Social contact better predictor than wealth, education or career.
importance of family
Importance of family
  • Rare person who, as his life draws to a close, wishes he had spent more time with at work.
psychological components 6
Psychological components #6
  • 6. Sense of meaning and purpose.
  • Defined as spirituality by some.
  • Doesn’t have to be religious.
  • Belief that your life is connected to a greater good.
  • Your life will make a difference.
man s search for meaning
Man’s search for meaning
  • Viktor Frankl
  • Concentration camp survivor.
  • Belief that you can find a purpose in life even in terrible conditions.
  • To give up hope is to give up the will to live.