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Studies

Diener & Seligman (2002): study US 1997

Publication

Author(s):
Diener, E.; Seligman, M.E.P.
Title:
Very Happy People.
Source:
Psychological Science, 2002, Vol. 13, 81 - 84

Investigation

Public:
Undergraduate students, US, 199?
Sample:
Non-probability purposive sample
Respondents:
N = 222
Non Response:
Assessment:
Questionnaire: paper
Daily report of mood and activities during 51 days; peer ratings.

Happiness Measure(s) and Distributional Findings

Full text:
Various self reports and informant rating

A   Selfreport on five questions repeated three times during semester:
      a  In most ways my life is close to ideal
      b  The conditions of my life are excellent
      c  I am satisfied with my life
      d  So far, I have gotten the important things I want in life
      e  If I could live my life over, I would change nothing
      Answers rated: 7  strongly agree ...1  strongly disagree
      (Diener's Satisfaction With Life Scale, SWLS)

B   Selfreport on 24 questions:
      How much of each mood did you experience in the last month?
      BA  LOVE
      a     Affection
      b     love
      c     caring
      d     fondness
      BB  JOY
      a     joy
      b     happiness
      c     contentment
      d     pride
      BC  FEAR
      a     fear
      b     worry
      c     anxiety
      d     nervous
      BD  ANGER
      a     anger
      b     irritation
      c     disgust
      d     rage
      BE  SHAME
      a     shame
      b     guilt
      c     regret
      d     embarrassment
      BF   SADNESS
      a     sadness
      b     loneliness
      c     unhappiness
      d     depression
      Rated: 0 = not at all ….6 extremely much
      Summation: balance score (BA+BB)/2 - (BC+BD+BE+BF)/4

C   Rating of B by five informants

D  Selfreport of daily affect on B

Summation: z-scores
Classification:
M-AO---mqr-*-0-a
Author's label:
happiness
Remarks:
The highest 10%, the middle 27% and the lowest 10% were selected.
A check using three alternative indicators of wellbeing lead to the same groep assignment, one case excepted, which was removed. The alternative indicators were: 1) memory event recal balance, 2) trait self description and 3) suicidal thoughts

Selelected in two stages.

Stage 1: Four happiness measures were administrated
- Satisfaction with Life scale
- Global self-reported affect balance
- Informant affect balance
- Daily affect balance
Scores were standardized and the z score for each individual were added. The highest and lowest 10% of standardized scores were selected on the basis of this distribution.

Stage 2: Three groups were filtered with a discriminant function with three measures to determine whether these group members remained the same with three other measures:
- Memory event recall balance
- Trait self-description
- Interview suicide measure
1 Ss from very happy was removed
Page in publication:
81
Observed distribution
Frequencies
Summary Statistics
On original range 0 - 0 On range 0-10
SD:
1.00
Full text:
Selfreport of daily mood on 24 questions

'Please indicate how much of each emotion you felt in the past month'
A    LOVE
Aa  Affection
Ab  love
Ac  caring
Ab  fondness
B    JOY
Ba  joy
Bb  happiness
Bc  contentment
Bd  pride
C    FEAR
Ca  fear
Cb  worry
Cc  anxiety
Cd  nervous
D    ANGER
Da  anger
Db  irritation
Dc  disgust
Dd  rage
E    SHAME
Ea  shame
Eb  guilt
Ec  regret
Ed  embarrassment
F   SADNESS
Fa  sadness
Fb  loneliness
Fc  unhappiness
Fd  depression

Answer options:
1  not at all
2  very slight
3  somewhat
4  moderate amount
5  much
6  very much
7 extremely much
Options presented horizontally

Computation:  average A+B minus average C+D+E+F
Classification:
A-BD3-cm-mqr-v-7-a
Author's label:
Global self-reported affect balance
Page in publication:
82
Observed distribution
Frequencies
1: 0%,   2: 0%,   3: 0%,   4: 0%,   5: 0%,   6: 0%,   7: 0%
Summary Statistics
On original range -6 - 6 On range 0-10
Mean:
1.80
SD:
0.50
Full text:
Selfreport of daily mood on 24 questions

'Please indicate how much of each emotion you felt today'
A    LOVE
Aa  Affection
Ab  love
Ac  caring
Ab  fondness
B    JOY
Ba  joy
Bb  happiness
Bc  contentment
Bd  pride
C    FEAR
Ca  fear
Cb  worry
Cc  anxiety
Cd  nervous
D    ANGER
Da  anger
Db  irritation
Dc  disgust
Dd  rage
E    SHAME
Ea  shame
Eb  guilt
Ec  regret
Ed  embarrassment
F   SADNESS
Fa  sadness
Fb  loneliness
Fc  unhappiness
Fd  depression

Answer options:
1  not at all
2  very slight
3  somewhat
4  moderate amount
5  much
6  very much
7 extremely much
Options presented horizontally

Computation:  average A+B minus average C+D+E+F
Classification:
A-BD3-md-mqr-v-7-a
Author's label:
Informant affect balance
Remarks:
Rated each day over 51 days
Page in publication:
82
Observed distribution
Frequencies
1: 0%,   2: 0%,   3: 0%,   4: 0%,   5: 0%,   6: 0%,   7: 0%
Summary Statistics
On original range -6 - 6 On range 0-10
Mean:
1.90
SD:
0.70
Full text:
Rating by family and peers of daily mood on 24 questions

'Please indicate how much of each emotion Ss felt today'
A    LOVE
Aa  Affection
Ab  love
Ac  caring
Ab  fondness
B    JOY
Ba  joy
Bb  happiness
Bc  contentment
Bd  pride
C    FEAR
Ca  fear
Cb  worry
Cc  anxiety
Cd  nervous
D    ANGER
Da  anger
Db  irritation
Dc  disgust
Dd  rage
E    SHAME
Ea  shame
Eb  guilt
Ec  regret
Ed  embarrassment
F   SADNESS
Fa  sadness
Fb  loneliness
Fc  unhappiness
Fd  depression

Answer options:
1  not at all
2  very slight
3  somewhat
4  moderate amount
5  much
6  very much
7 extremely much
Options presented horizontally

Computation:  average A+B minus average C+D+E+F
Classification:
A-BD3-g-rdv-v-7-a
Author's label:
Daily affect balance
Remarks:
On average five informants rated each participant. The score for each participant was calculated by subtracting the mean for negative adjectives from the mean of positive adjectives
Observed distribution
Frequencies
1: 0%,   2: 0%,   3: 0%,   4: 0%,   5: 0%,   6: 0%,   7: 0%
Summary Statistics
On original range -6 - 6 On range 0-10
Mean:
1.60
SD:
0.40

Correlational Findings

Author's label Subject Description Finding Extremely happy or unhappy O-further by A-AB Relationships with close friend Number of close friends Romantic relationship Current intimate relationships Strong family relationship Family climate Relationship rated by peers Current intimate relationships Time spent alone Time spend alone Time spent with family, friends, and romantic partner Current intimate relationships
Time spend socializing
Affect intensity Intensity of affects Extraversion Extraverted Neuroticism Neurotic Agreeableness Agreeable Conscientious Conscientious Openness Open Hypochondriasis Current psycho-somatic complaints
Hypochondric (f45.2)
Depression Depressive (f31-33) Hysteria Hysteric (f99) Psychopathic Scores on symptom inventories Paranoia Paranoid (f20-22) Psychasthenia Psychasthenic (f99) Schizophrenia Schizophrenic (f20) Hypomania Hypomanic (f30) Family Conflict Family climate (earlier for adults, current for young)