Correlational findings

Study Wessman & Ricks (1966): study US 1957 /1

Male college students, followed 3 years, Harvard University, USA, 1957-60
N = 17
Non Response:
37%: 9 dropouts, incomplete; about the same happiness distribution.
Multiple methods
Mood diary kept 30 days and repeated interviews and tests during three years.


Authors's label
Real - ideal self congruency
Our Classification
Correlation between self and ideal des- criptions, as assessed by a 60-itme Q sort, describing characteristics indi- cative of successful and unsuccessful resolutions of the first six develop- mental crises of the Erikson's stages of psychosocial development (see Erikson, 1959).

The Q sort was filled out in both very elated and in very depressed moods for both self-concept ('an accurate picture of yourself as you honestly feel and believe you are') and ideal-concept ('the picture of the sort of person you have hoped to become or fancied your- self to be').

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks A-ARE-md-sqr-v-10-a r = + p < .05 Congruency in elation   : r = +.79
Congruency in depression: r = +.76

Both the happier and unhappier men experience more discrepancies between real-self and ideal- self in depression than in elation.
For the happier men the differences between the real-selves and ideal-selves concerned social and emotional qualities as well as work, while for the unhappier men the most extreme and consistent differences all dealt with unrealized ambition and inability to work (see also 'Content of self-image': S 2.2).
For the unhappy men most discrepancies concerned the fourth developmental crisis: 'Industry vs Inferiority', while for the happy men most dis- crepancies concerned the sixth developmental crisis: 'Intimacy vs Isolation' (see 'Personali- ty development': P 1.4).