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Concept: Subjective life satisfaction


Over 500 million people interact daily with Facebook. Yet, whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. Our results indicate that Facebook use predicts negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes. They were also not moderated by the size of people’s Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.

Concepts: Psychology, Motivation, Need, Happiness, Fundamental human needs, Subjective life satisfaction, The Next Time, Criticism of Facebook


There are surprisingly few discussions of the link between wellbeing and alcohol, and few empirical studies to underpin them. Policymakers have therefore typically considered negative wellbeing impacts while ignoring positive ones, used gross overestimates of positive impacts via a naïve ‘consumer surplus’ approach, or ignored wellbeing completely. We examine an alternative subjective wellbeing method for investigating alcohol and wellbeing, using fixed effects analyses of the associations between drinking and wellbeing within two different types of data. Study 1 examines wave-to-wave changes in life satisfaction and past-week alcohol consumption/alcohol problems (CAGE) from a representative cohort of people born in Britain in 1970, utilising responses at ages 30, 34 and 42 (a sample size of 29,145 observations from 10,107 individuals). Study 2 examines moment-to-moment changes in happiness and drinking from an iPhone-based data set in Britain 2010-13, which is innovative and large (2,049,120 observations from 31,302 individuals) but unrepresentative. In Study 1 we find no significant relationship between changing drinking levels and changing life satisfaction (p = 0.20), but a negative association with developing drinking problems (-0.18 points on a 0-10 scale; p = 0.003). In contrast, Study 2 shows a strong and consistent moment-to-moment relationship between happiness and drinking events (+3.88 points on a 0-100 scale; p < 0.001), although associations beyond the moment in question are smaller and more inconsistent. In conclusion, while iPhone users are happier at the moment of drinking, there are only small overspills to other moments, and among the wider population, changing drinking levels across several years are not associated with changing life satisfaction. Furthermore, drinking problems are associated with lower life satisfaction. Simple accounts of the wellbeing impacts of alcohol policies are therefore likely to be misleading. Policymakers must consider the complexity of different policy impacts on different conceptions of 'wellbeing', over different time periods, and among different types of drinkers.

Concepts: Scientific method, Change, Policy, Happiness, Drink, Consistency, IPhone, Subjective life satisfaction


Recently, WeChat has been widely used in China. The positive and negative effects of WeChat on users have received attention from researchers gradually. Using the questionnaire method, we recruited 339 undergraduates and graduates as participants, and tested the effects of WeChat on their subjective well-being (SWB) in terms of intensity. In addition, we confirmed the mediating effects of WeChat with respect to motivation. The results showed that the participants' WeChat use intensity was at a mid-level, 85.3 percent of them spending no more than 2 hours on WeChat every day. Furthermore, there have been no demographic differences in the variables of gender, place of residence, or grade. Participants' WeChat use intensity can significantly predict their use motivation and life satisfaction, and intrinsic use motivation was the mediator between the use intensity and SWB, while the other three types of motivation (external, introjection, and identification) cannot predict SWB significantly. The user’s ultimate emotional experience is primarily derived from why and how they use it. We also tested whether the use motivation can be shaped.

Concepts: Effect, Effectiveness, Effects unit, Motivation, Emotion, Mediation, The Mediator, Subjective life satisfaction


In recent years policy makers and social scientists have devoted considerable attention to wellbeing, a concept that refers to people’s capacity to live healthy, creative and fulfilling lives. Two conceptual approaches dominate wellbeing research. The objective approach examines the objective components of a good life. The subjective approach examines people’s subjective evaluations of their lives. In the objective approach how subjective wellbeing relates to objective wellbeing is not a relevant research question. The subjective approach does investigate how objective wellbeing relates to subjective wellbeing, but has focused primarily on one objective wellbeing indicator, income, rather than the comprehensive indicator set implied by the objective approach. This paper attempts to contribute by examining relationships between a comprehensive set of objective wellbeing measures and subjective wellbeing, and by linking wellbeing research to inequality research by also investigating how subjective and objective wellbeing relate to class, gender, age and ethnicity. We use three waves of a representative state-level household panel study from Queensland, Australia, undertaken from 2008 to 2010, to investigate how objective measures of wellbeing are socially distributed by gender, class, age, and ethnicity. We also examine relationships between objective wellbeing and overall life satisfaction, providing one of the first longitudinal analyses linking objective wellbeing with subjective evaluations. Objective aspects of wellbeing are unequally distributed by gender, age, class and ethnicity and are strongly associated with life satisfaction. Moreover, associations between gender, ethnicity, class and life satisfaction persist after controlling for objective wellbeing, suggesting that mechanisms in addition to objective wellbeing link structural dimensions of inequality to life satisfaction.

Concepts: Sociology, Research, English-language films, Objective pronoun, Implied volatility, Subjective life satisfaction


Nowadays, millions of people around the world use social networking sites to express everyday thoughts and feelings. Many researchers have tried to make use of social media to study users' online behaviors and psychological states. However, previous studies show mixed results about whether self-generated contents on Facebook reflect users' subjective well-being (SWB). This study analyzed Facebook status updates to determine the extent to which users' emotional expression predicted their SWB-specifically their self-reported satisfaction with life. It was found that positive emotional expressions on Facebook did not correlate with life satisfaction, whereas negative emotional expressions within the past 9-10 months (but not beyond) were significantly related to life satisfaction. These findings suggest that both the type of emotional expressions and the time frame of status updates determine whether emotional expressions in Facebook status updates can effectively reflect users' SWB. The findings shed light on the characteristics of online social media and improve the understanding of how user-generated contents reflect users' psychological states.

Concepts: Time, Psychology, Web 2.0, Social network service, Social media, Facebook, Subjective life satisfaction


The aim of the current study was to investigate whether optimism and self-efficacy mediated the association between shyness and subjective well-being in a sample of Chinese working adults. Two hundred and eight participants completed the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale, Life Orientation Rest-Revised, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Positive and Negative Affect Scale. Structural equation modeling results showed that optimism mediated the relationship between shyness and measures of subjective well-being (life satisfaction, positive and negative affect). Self-efficacy mediated the association between shyness and positive subjective well-being (life satisfaction and positive affect). These results suggest that optimism and self-efficacy play unique mediating roles in the relationship between shyness and subjective well-being. They also have important implications for the development of intervention programs aimed at promoting subjective well-being of Chinese working adults through enhancing self-efficacy and optimism.

Concepts: Biology, Affect, The Association, Mediation, Affect theory, Structural equation modeling, Human Development Index, Subjective life satisfaction


To assess the impact of allergic diseases on the subjective well-being and life satisfaction of primary-school children.

Concepts: Allergy, Subjective life satisfaction


Whereas a great deal of literature has been devoted to investigating the link between intergenerational social mobility and health, the few studies that have examined the association between social mobility and life satisfaction have produced conflicting findings. In the present study, we attempt to rectify several shortcomings common to previous work by examining the association between intergenerational social mobility and both life satisfaction and self-rated health as measured in later-life. Our sample consisted of individuals born in Scotland in 1936, who took part in the Scottish Mental Survey 1947 and were subsequently followed-up into later-life. Regression analyses demonstrated that satisfaction with life at age 78 was not significantly predicted by childhood or adulthood socioeconomic status, or by the amount of social mobility experienced from parental occupational social class. In contrast, self-rated health at age 78 was significantly predicted by adult socioeconomic status and by education, but not by social mobility from parental occupational social class. These results suggest that efforts to promote upwards social mobility may not result in better subjective wellbeing, despite the apparent benefits for health.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Sociology, Social class, Social status, Social stratification, Social mobility, Subjective life satisfaction, Achieved status


The aim of this study was to categorize university students based on their association between food neophobia and levels of subjective well-being, in general and in the food domain, and their perception of their family’s eating habits. A survey was conducted among 372 university students from southern Chile. The questionnaire included the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Satisfaction with Food-related Life (SWFL), Health-related Quality of Life Index (HRQOL-4), and Family Eating Habits Questionnaire (FEHQ). Three student types were distinguished by cluster analysis: Group 1 (26.9%) had the highest scores on the FNS, SWLS and SWFL. Group 2 (40.8%) had a high score on the FNS but the lowest scores on the SWLS and SWFL. Group 3 (32.3%) had the lowest FNS score and high scores on the SWLS and SWFL. Group 2 stood out in having a low score on the FEHQ’s component for cohesiveness of family eating. These results suggest that both neophobic and non-neophobic students have positive levels of satisfaction with life and food-related life, and that satisfaction among neophobic students is related to family eating patterns, especially cohesiveness in family eating.

Concepts: Life, University, Touring car racing, Student, Human Development Index, Subjective life satisfaction


Depressive symptoms and anxiety are fairly common emotional outcomes after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Life satisfaction is a main factor in the general construct of subjective well-being. However, there is limited literature available on the interrelationship between emotional outcomes and life satisfaction post-severe TBI over time. The purpose of this study was to characterize distinct patterns of change in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and life satisfaction over 24 months after severe TBI and evaluate the interrelationship of different trajectory groups among them as well as associated subject characteristics.

Concepts: Psychology, Traumatic brain injury, Meaning of life, Post-concussion syndrome, Subjective life satisfaction