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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Positive Emotions.docx

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Richard B Day

• In psychological and physiological traditions, in both the East and the West - happiness is the ultimate goal of life (the definition of what it means to lead a good life) Defining Happiness • Two different traditions in defining what happiness is • The hedonic tradition o Dominant in the west o Aristippus: Not just sensual pleasure • Talked about pleasure as the ultimate goal of the good life • What he meant by pleasure - not sensual, included the pleasures of the intellect (mind, conversation, etc.) o Hedonic tradition abandoned when Aristippus died o Notion of hedonic pleasure as sensual o Freud: Sexuality and aggression • Pleasure involved using up sexual and aggressive energy • From food, drink • Took a strictly pleasure providing view of what happiness was o Most modern research in this tradition • Happiness, or Subjective Well-Being (SWB) • The eudaimonic tradition o Aristotle: Life of moral, intellectual virtue • Behaving well towards others around you • About wisdom, understanding, gaining knowledge • Happiness as satisfaction, contentment, being involved with life that enriches those around you o Rogers, Maslow • The humanists • Good life is characterized by problems and concerns external to self Process theories: Csikszentmihalyi: Autotelic activities Snyder: Hope = goal expectancy • Setting and achieving important goals • Eudaimonic tradition Modern empirical tradition • Hedonistic view in terms of measurement and assessment of happiness • Ed Diener: Since early 1980s o Past President of APS - dominated by researchers o APA - dominated by clinicians o Current President of IPPA o Subjective Well-Being (SWB) - brings eudaimonic and hedonic traditions together • Interested in well-being of individual - use objective measures (income, health status, strength of relationships) • All measures of well-being are subjective, ask people how happy they are, etc. • Individuals self-report of quality of life and nature of their emotions = SWB Subjective Well-Being Positive Affects (PA) and Negative Affects (NA) • PA - positive affect o Positive emotions, we enjoy experiences and look forward to • NA - negative affect o Look at ratio of positive to negative affect being reported by individual • Optimal happiness o High ratio of PA:NA • High in PA, low in NA (and vice versa) - WRONG • PA and NA are on separate dimensions o They are not negatively correlated • Experience a combination of positive and negative emotions • Most life experiences involves a mix of positive and negative emotions simultaneously • So look for high ratio of PA:NA Life Satisfaction (LS) • Exist and operate in a number of domains in life - work, academic, interpersonal, recreational • How are satisfied are we with activities and relationships of domains? • Measure of overall life satisfaction - closer to eudaimonic tradition • Happiness = emotional side • SWB = all the things together PANAS PANAS-X • Based on factor analyses • Get slides • Scales - look at number of subcategories of positive and negative emotions, and constructs for each Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) • Question is not about what you are feeling right now, it's your overall tendency for happiness • High numbers = high levels of SWB (happiness) • Low numbers = low levels of SWB (happiness) • Reverse coded o Not at all = 7 o A great deal = 1 Satisfaction With Life Scale • High numbers = strongly agree Stability of SWB • Trait variable - average level of happiness o Still fluctuate o Remain fairly constant • State variable - momentary, current state of … o Fluctuate o Variables change with circumstances • Assess state variation o People carried beepers, random times beeper would go off, individual would fill out something like the PANAS (emotions at the present time) o Findings - working with adolescent • Found rapid variation • As people get older, fluctuations damp down • Top Down Emotions o Governed by temperament, character, personality o Influences of trait levels of happiness o Stable over time • Bottom Up Emotions o More changeable o Related to state variations o Variations in emotions related to immediate circumstances • People try to figure out what extent trait vs. state variable determines happiness • High correlations indicator of top down, trait variable • Low correlations indicator of bottom up, state variable • From short to longer durations of stability Eid & Diener • Suggests high level of top down influence on satisfaction with life Lucas & Donellan • High level of stability over time • Level of stability drops as length of time increases • Over long period of time, more effective bottom up variables contribute to life Lucas et al • Suggests substantial top down stability in all the measures • Stable results • Not due to fluctuating life changing circumstances Magnus & Diener • People have a tendency to be more positive • Correlations - in order to understand relationship between correlation and amount of variability (variance) o You must square the correlation o Correlation of 0.6 = only 36% is accounted for variance Fajita & Diener • Correlation of 0.3 = 30% o Therefore 10% of correlation over period • There is a lot of stability across time in measures of SWB • Even though there is a lot of stability, it does not account for even half of the total variance Diener & Larsen • Across situations - across domains of life experience • Correlation of work vs. recreation o Suggests top down - stability based on characteristics, states of individual that tend to be more or less positive • There is consistency across time and across life domains Lucas • Objective measures reflect both trait and state variables • There is a great deal of stability that contributes to overall trait levels of happiness - carries across a number of life domains • There is instability as well • May be consistently happier in one life domain than another CHARS • Looked at individuals born in the Chicago area • Positive - positive correlation with LS, and SWB • Sleep quality - tossing and turning vs. good sleep o The amount of sleep does not correlate with SWB • In all cases, cannot be sure of nature of causal is o Does high quality sleep give you SWB o Or do people with SWB sleep better • One experiences chronic pain when SWB is lower • Exercise (may have to do with age) does not show SWB o In most studies there is a positive relationship - may be stronger in individuals that are younger • A quarter of SWB correlated with self-esteem o Do not have nature of direction of causal relationship between two variables • High negative correlation with subjective feeling of loneliness and SWB • Optimism strongly positively correlated with SWB o Direction is not clear • Emotional stability is not strongly associated with SWB • The strongest correlation is between SWB and emotional satisfaction with one's life o Can have relatively sexual activity, but if there is a strong bond and emotional support it increases SWB • Physical arousal has correlation with SWB o High but less than first • Frequency of sex is least strong predictor of SWB o Does not matter how active you are • Religion and SWB - there was no correlation found here o Usually there is a score • Life events can have an impact on SWB o The rule - when a positive event (marriage) or negative event (divorce) - they have an immediate impact on SWB o The impact dissipates with time - goes back to where you were before the event (for both positive and negative events) • How much time does it take for this adaptation? (before you return to your trait level)  For marriage - 2 years  The loss of a spouse/widowhood - 8 years • For older couples - if a spouse dies, probability that surviving spouse will die within a year is highly elevated (from a year to weeks) • Tied to life satisfaction  Divorce - 6-8 years  Unemployment - has long term effects on SWB • Individuals looking for work become depressed, SWB is low • Even
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