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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


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


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


We investigated links between temperament traits described in Strelau’s Regulative Theory of Temperament (Emotional Reactivity, Briskness, Activity, Endurance, Perseveration and Sensory Sensitivity) and subjective well-being (SWB)-Positive Affect, Negative Affect and Life Satisfaction as conceptualised by Diener. Participants representing early (n = 166) and late adolescence (n = 199), early (n = 195) and mid-adulthood (n = 156) filled out Formal Characteristics of Behaviour-Temperament Inventory, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Results showed that higher Briskness, Endurance, Activity, lower Perseveration and Emotional Reactivity corresponded with higher SWB. They predicted 16% of affective components' and 7% of satisfaction variance. Each well-being component had a unique set of predictors; however, predictors of affective components varied across age groups. Higher Positive Affect was predicted by traits responsible for energetic regulation (higher Endurance and Activity and lower Emotional Reactivity) and by higher Perseveration, but their role (excluding Emotional Reactivity) was age-dependent. Higher Negative Affect was predicted by higher Emotional Reactivity and dimensions expressing temporal characteristics, lower Briskness and higher Perseveration (Perseveration was not significant among younger adolescents). Higher Satisfaction was steadily predicted by lower Emotional Reactivity and higher Activity. To conclude, the functions of temperament traits are mostly in line with theoretical expectations, but more complex than indicated by previous research.

Concepts: Affect, Emotion, Affective neuroscience, Affect display, Affect theory, Affect measures, Subjective life satisfaction


Bereavement is an inevitable event in our life. This paper employs the Taiwanese panel Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly (SHLSE) to evaluate the impact of losing a spouse on self-assessed health and subjective well-being measured by depression and life satisfaction. Propensity score matching methods are used to generate a hypothetical bereavement date and a weight for the non-bereaved to create a comparable non-bereaved cohort and a difference-in-differences (DiD) approach is used to estimate the impact of spousal bereavement. The results show that spousal bereavement increases depression scale by 1.81 points but this increment decreases by 0.43 points every year after bereavement. It takes approximate 4 years to restore to the level prior to bereavement. We also examine the demographic and socioeconomic differences in the spousal bereavement impact and find that the spousal bereavement impact is greater on the bereaved in the higher income group in terms of self-assessed health and depression. Our results only represent a lower boundary of the possible impact of spousal bereavement on self-assessed health and subjective wellbeing due to data restrictions.

Concepts: Demography, Econometrics, Quality of life, Sociology, Propensity score, Gross domestic product, Socioeconomics, Subjective life satisfaction


Life satisfaction judgments are thought to represent an overall evaluation of the quality of a person’s life as a whole. Thus, they should reflect relatively important and stable characteristics of that person’s life. Previous highly cited research has suggested that transient factors, such as the mood that a person experiences at the time that well-being judgments are made, can influence these judgments. However, most existing studies used small sample sizes, and few replications have been attempted. Nine direct and conceptual replications of past studies testing the effects of mood on life satisfaction judgments were conducted using sample sizes that were considerably larger than previous studies (Ns = 202, 200, 269, 118, 320, 401, 285, 129, 122). Most of the 9 studies resulted in nonsignificant effects on life satisfaction and happiness judgments, and those that were significant were substantially smaller than effects found in previous research. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Sample size, Effect, Effectiveness, Thought, Effects unit, Judgment, Nontotient, Subjective life satisfaction