- 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 assesment methods
Mood diary kept 30 days and repeated interviews and tests during three years.
- Authors's Label
- Real-self descriptions
- Our Classification
- The group of Ss was divided in two according to their mean 'daily average mood' (AFF 3.1). The Q sort descriptions provided by the nine re- latively happy men were compared with those of the eight relatively unhappy men. Only significant discrepancies between the des- criptions of both groups were presented.
- Related specification variables
- Content analysis of a 60-item Q sort, describing characteristics indicative of successful and unsuccessful resolu- tions of the first six developmental crisis of the Erikson's stages of psycho-social development (see Erikson, 1959).
The Q sort was filled out both in very elated and in very depressed moods for self-concept ('an accurate picture of yourself as you honestly feel and be- lieve your are').
Observed Relation with Happiness
In general the happy men describe themselves
as more social, while the unhappy men are
more isolated and pre-occupied with them-
In depression also the happy men experience a
decrease in social interests, but are still
concerned with others, while the unhappy men,
in depression, were unable to share with
Especially in elation the happy men describe
themselves as productive, while the unhappy
men, even in elation,are more given to wast-
ing time and failing to apply themselves.
The unhappy men are more ambitious, but are
less able to fulfill their ambitions.
Especially in depression they feel ineffecti-
ve, unable to get what they want, pessimistic
and unable to absorb frustration.
The happy men perceive depressions as tempor-
ary states which would be resolved when the
problems which occasioned them had been re-
The unhappy men are more pessimistic, feel
depression as permanent states of frustrat-
ion and impotent desire.
Especially in depression the unhappy men felt
a tendency to disregard the world, but also
felt they were in the wrong and apologetic.
In elation the unhappy girls place a high
value on work, while the happy girls tend to
place a higher value on friendliness and con-
sideration for others.
In depression both the happy and unhappy
girls value work more than in elation, but
this is more extreme for the unhappy girls.
For these girls concern with work in depress- ion took the form of more exclusive concern
with intellectual creativity and achievement,
while the happy girls in depression place a
higher value on the inherent satisfactions in
learning, and are more concerned with disco-
vering what they want out of life.