Myers and Diener - Classic Evidence (Positive)

  • Created by: chlopayne
  • Created on: 16-04-19 13:14
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  • Myers and Diener - Who is happy?
    • This study aims to pool together previous research in order to answer key questions.
      • Who are the happy people? What traits are related to happiness? What elements should be a part of theories of happiness?
    • Methodology
      • Collected together the findings of many studies into happiness and used this to come to conclusions.
        • This is a literature review, includes current knowledge on a topic.
    • Findings
      • Effect of age on happiness:
        • No time of life is notably happier (Latten 1989).
          • Reinforced by 1980s survey of 169,776 people sampled in 16 nations (Inglehard 1990).
        • Predictors of happiness changes with age.
          • Social relations are important in later life (Herzog, Rogers, Woodworth 1982).
      • Effect of gender on happiness:
        • Women are twice as likely to have depression and anxiety.
          • Men are 5x more likely to have alcoholism /antisocial personality disorder.
        • Meta-analysis of 146 studies, gender account for less than 1% of wellbeing (Haring, Stock +Okun 1984).
          • 1980s survey of 16 nations = 80% of men and women said they're 'fairly satisfied with life'.
      • Effect of race/culture of happiness:
        • Robins + Reiger 1991: African-Americans are just as happy as European-Americans (less vulnerable to depression)
          • Disadvantaged groups maintain self esteem by valuing things which they excel.
        • Nations differ in happiness.
          • 'Very happy' - Portugal = 10% Netherlands = 40%.
          • Swiss rank high on life satisfaction compared to German, French and Italian.
      • Effect of money on happiness:
        • 75% of American collegians essential life goal is to "be well off financially" (Astin, Korn + Riggs 1993).
          • Topped the list of 19 possible life objectives.
        • Adults share this materialism, increased income would make them happier (Strumptel 1976).
        • Food, shelter and safety is basic to wellbeing. Poor countries = satisfaction with finances is a moderate predictor (Diener).
        • Diener (1993) found in the United states theree is a correlation between income and happiness.
        • Forbes list of wealthiest Americans reported only slightly more happiness than normal Americans.
    • Evaluation
      • Methodology + procedures
        • Literature review: issue of bias -  couldn't include every piece of research and chose the studies they wanted to include.
          • it may not be representative and has researcher bias.
        • Self report data
          • Participants may lie, social desirability bias.
          • Subjectivity, wellbeing is different to everyone so may answer differently.
          • Lack of insight into their own behaviour and feelings to answer correctly.
          • Reliability - participants are only asked once. Happiness and wellbeing changes day to day.
        • Correlations: cannot align causation to the findings, careful when drawing conclusion, variable may get in the way of findings.
      • Ethical issues and social implications
        • Literature review doesn't involve experimentation on participants so they can't be harmed.
        • Self report data; rating your own happiness may cause psychological harm to the participants - may bring up painful thoughts and feelings.
          • May feel privacy is being invaded, questions are personal.
        • Observations; when beeper goes off, the participant would record their mental and emotional state.
          • Gain an overview of participants mental state over a period of time.
            • However, it can be see as an invasion of privacy. They may not want to record personal issues.
        • Socially sensitive research; studies which there are potential consequences/ implications for the participants.
          • In this study, the findings relating to different groups and their happiness could be used to fuel discrimination.


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