Correlational findings

Study Bakker et al. (2020): study NL 2011

Returning users of a happiness self-help website, Netherlands, 2011-2015
Survey name
N = 5411
Non Response
Questionnaire: web
Happiness self-help tool box


Authors's Label
Use of Happiness-Diary
Our Classification
Participants received periodical an e-mail with a link to a website on which they recorded for the previous day - what they had done during waking hours - how they had felt during these activities Users then received instant overview of - how much time they had spent on particular activities - how happy they had felt during these activities - how they had felt on average during that day Users were also informed of how comparable other users of the website had scored with respect to time spent on activities and enjoyment of these. This 'Happiness-Diary' is an internet application of the Day Reconstructioin Method (DRM, Kahneman et a. 2004) All rating made on a 10-step faces scale Next to this 'Happines-Diary' the website provided the 'Happiness-Comparer', 'last month's score on which are used in this analysis as the measurement of happiness.
M = 2.14 SD = 4,15
Time betwee first and last use 233 days
Related specification variables
Number of times the Happiness-Diary was used

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks A-AOL-cm-sq-f-11-a b-fix = +.01 p < .001 CHANGE happiness by number of times the Happiness-Diary was used

b (+.013) controled for:
- earlier happiness (to capture change)
- happiness today
- times Happiness-Comparer used
- days before last use of the Happiness-Diary

Using the Happiness Diary ten times increased monthly happiness by approximately 0.14 points on a 0 to 10 scale when all other factors were
held constant. However, less than 4% of the respondents completed the diary 10 times or

The effect of repeated use declined slightly over time

b stronger among the initially least happy participants

b similar across age, sexe, education and income

GMM analysis suggest a causal effect of use of the Happiness-Diary on Happiness
A-AOL-cm-sq-f-11-a D%sr = + Change on scale range estimated 2 to 5%