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dc.contributor.advisorConner, Tamlin
dc.contributor.authorReid, Katherine Anne
dc.identifier.citationReid, K. A. (2011). The Pursuit of Happiness (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractIs the frequent monitoring of happiness in daily life actually detrimental to happiness? Current psychological literature suggests that explicit focus on happiness may actually be self-defeating (Schooler, Ariely, & Lowestein, 2003). The current thesis investigated the psychological effects of frequent self-monitoring of happiness outside the laboratory in daily life. A total of 223 young adults (92 men) from the University of Otago were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups. Commercially available SMS text message software was used to send participants either one, three or six text messages per day for 13 days inquiring about their current level of happiness. A fourth control group also received six text messages per day inquiring about non-mood related experiences. Findings showed no differences in changes in momentary or trait happiness between the three experimental groups, suggesting no reactivity as a result of monitoring happiness overall. Conversely, group differences in changes in momentary happiness were moderated by personality variables self-esteem and dysphoria. Findings suggested that increased monitoring of happiness among those with low self-esteem and high dysphoria leads to a decrease in happiness over time. Interestingly, there was also some evidence that frequent reporting of non-emotional states led to a decrease in trait happiness among those low in self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that the heightened focus on happiness throughout western society today may actually be detrimental to the happiness of those with greater vulnerability to lower mood – i.e. those with low self-esteem or high dysphoria.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectSubjective Wellbeingen_NZ
dc.titleThe Pursuit of Happinessen_NZ
dc.typeThesis of Scienceen_NZ of Otago Theses
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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