Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Trinkaus J
Two informal enquiries of the emotions of 600 children queued up to meet Santa Claus in shopping malls during the 2003 and 2004 Yuletide seasons suggested that about 80% appeared to be indifferent to seeing Santa. Emotions were estimated using a standard scale of facial expressions. A replication of these studies in 2005 observing another 200 children indicated that this rate declined (to about 60%) the closer was Christmas day. To investigate in more detail the feelings of the guardians accompanying indifferent children, this study was conducted in 2006. Of the total of 300 guardians (who were accompanying 300 children) 87% appeared to be happy. They were escorting 91% of the 200 children who seemed to be indifferent.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18232433 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
The advancement of positive psychology is dependent upon measures of happiness, both globally and in specific contexts. Data are presented on two measures of sources of college students' happiness from two samples. Testing of the two cohorts (Ns=258, 68) was separated by 20 years. Measures for both samples had acceptable psychometric properties. There was an increase in college students' self-reported happiness across the 20-year period in the rankings of different sources of college happiness and general happiness. In a second study, a different group of students (N= 176) were given a list and asked to select the most important uplifts and hassles in their lives. In general, mean scores on affect measures were relatively stable across time, but transportation hassles were reported as a new source of negative affect in the present study.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18232421 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 22;105(3):1050-4
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Plassmann H, O'Doherty J, Shiv B, Rangel A
Despite the importance and pervasiveness of marketing, almost nothing is known about the neural mechanisms through which it affects decisions made by individuals. We propose that marketing actions, such as changes in the price of a product, can affect neural representations of experienced pleasantness. We tested this hypothesis by scanning human subjects using functional MRI while they tasted wines that, contrary to reality, they believed to be different and sold at different prices. Our results show that increasing the price of a wine increases subjective reports of flavor pleasantness as well as blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area that is widely thought to encode for experienced pleasantness during experiential tasks. The paper provides evidence for the ability of marketing actions to modulate neural correlates of experienced pleasantness and for the mechanisms through which the effect operates.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18195362 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
The experience of mixed emotions increases with age. Socioemotional selectivity theory suggests that mixed emotions are associated with shifting time horizons. Theoretically, perceived constraints on future time increase appreciation for life, which, in turn, elicits positive emotions such as happiness. Yet, the very same temporal constraints heighten awareness that these positive experiences come to an end, thus yielding mixed emotional states. In 2 studies, the authors examined the link between the awareness of anticipated endings and mixed emotional experience. In Study 1, participants repeatedly imagined being in a meaningful location. Participants in the experimental condition imagined being in the meaningful location for the final time. Only participants who imagined "last times" at meaningful locations experienced more mixed emotions. In Study 2, college seniors reported their emotions on graduation day. Mixed emotions were higher when participants were reminded of the ending that they were experiencing. Findings suggest that poignancy is an emotional experience associated with meaningful endings.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18179325 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Physical activity as a mediator of the impact of chronic conditions on quality of life in older adults.
Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2007;5:68
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Sawatzky R, Liu-Ambrose T, Miller WC, Marra CA
BACKGROUND: Chronic conditions could negatively affect the quality of life of older adults. This may be partially due to a relative lack of physical activity. We examined whether physical activity mediates the relationship between different chronic conditions and several health outcomes that are important to the quality of life of older adults. METHODS: The data were taken from the Canadian Community Health Survey (cycle 1.1), a cross-section survey completed in 2001. Only respondents who were 65 years or older were included in our study (N = 22,432). The Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3) was used to measure overall quality of life, and to measure selected health outcomes (dexterity, mobility, pain, cognition, and emotional wellbeing) that are considered to be of importance to the quality of life of older adults. Leisure-time physical activity was assessed by determining weekly energy expenditure (Kcal per week) based on the metabolic equivalents of self-reported leisure activities. Linear and logistic regression models were used to determine the mediating effect of leisure-time physical activity while controlling for demographic variables (age and sex), substance use (tobacco use and alcohol consumption), and obesity. RESULTS: Having a chronic condition was associated with a relative decrease in health utility scores and a relative increase in mobility limitations, dexterity problems, pain, emotional problems (i.e., decreased happiness), and cognitive limitations. These negative consequences could be partially attributed to a relative lack of physical activity in older adults with a chronic condition (14% mediation for the HUI3 score). The corresponding degree of mediation was 18% for mobility limitations, 5% for pain, and 13% for emotional wellbeing (statistically significant mediation was not observed for the other health attributes). These values varied with respect to the different chronic conditions examined in our study. CONCLUSION: Older adults with chronic conditions are less likely to engage in leisure-time physical activities of at least 1,000 Kcal per week, and this association partially accounts for some negative consequences of chronic conditions, including mobility limitations, pain, and emotional problems. These findings provide support for health promotion programs that facilitate or encourage increased leisure-time physical activity in older people with chronic conditions.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18093310 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
The dreaded promise of Christmas and the New Year.
Psychoanal Q. 2007 Oct;76(4):1351-60
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Shengold L
For many patients, mixed feelings of promise and dread that can accompany the holiday season appear in consciousness faintly and fleetingly, usually in the form of bad expectations. But the "dreaded promise" (an oxymoron) of change can come to full life and is always potentially present, especially at separations, and is usually perceptible by the analyst. The dread can be accompanied by expectations full of wonderful promise. The promise of Christmas is followed by the promise of New Year's Day--a time for new beginnings and resolutions aimed at changes for the better. But, for some, happy expectations evoking change have in the past been succeeded by bad ones, and the revival of predominant dread can be cruel and repetitive.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18085014 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Motives for parenthood among couples attending a level 3 infertility clinic in the public health sector in South Africa.
Hum Reprod. 2008 Feb;23(2):352-7
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Dyer S, Mokoena N, Maritz J, van der Spuy Z
BACKGROUND: Most African countries are pronatalistic with high total fertility rates and a low prevalence of voluntary childlessness. At present, limited data exist relating to the reasons why men and women desire children. This study explores parenthood motives among infertile couples from an urban community in South Africa. METHODS: The parenthood-motivation list, an instrument developed in the Netherlands for the assessment of parenthood motives and strength of desire for a child, was administrated to 50 couples (100 participants) who presented to an infertility clinic in a tertiary referral centre. The instrument discerns six parenthood motives comprising happiness, well-being, identity, parenthood, continuity and social control. RESULTS: The majority of participants endorsed most of the motives. The categories happiness and parenthood were the most frequent motives. Women endorsed more motives simultaneously when compared with men. The categories happiness, well-being and social control correlated positively with strength of desire for a child. Most men and women expressed a strong desire for a child. CONCLUSIONS: Men and women desired children for many reasons and with similar intensity. This diversity and intensity of parenthood motives appears to be a reflection of the value of children in our communities and further our understanding of the implications of involuntary childlessness.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18063652 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Adolescents' experiences of well-being when living with a long-term illness or disability.
Scand J Caring Sci. 2007 Dec;21(4):419-25
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Berntsson L, Berg M, Brydolf M, Hellström AL
Present-day society has produced changes in family living patterns and conditions and this has resulted in new stressors and health problems. Most children and adolescents with chronic diseases and disabilities, who were previously cared for at hospitals and institutions for long periods, are now integrated in society and they are expected to live a normal life in the conditions that currently prevail. The number of young people with long-term illnesses/disability has increased worldwide during the last decades. There is lack of studies relating to the way young people regard their daily lives and factors that are important for their well-being. The aim of this study was to describe the meaning of feeling good in daily life in adolescents living with a long-term illness or disability. Eight boys and seven girls, aged between 12 and 19 years, with different conditions of long-term illness or disability, participated in the study. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted between the years 2003-2004 and the data were analysed using content analysis. The results revealed that the adolescents with long-term illness generally experienced well-being like everybody else. Three themes were found to be important in order to feel good: 'a feeling of acceptance of illness/disability as a natural part of life', 'a feeling of support' and 'a feeling of personal growth'. This study concludes that adolescents with long-term illness or disabilities experience well-being when they are allowed to prepare for living a normal life integrated in society.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 18036004 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Hypomanic trait is associated with a hypovigilant automatic attentional response to social cues of danger.
Bipolar Disord. 2007 Nov;9(7):779-83
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Putman P, Saevarsson S, van Honk J
OBJECTIVES: Hypomania in bipolar disorders is characterized by disinhibited, fearless and reward-seeking behavior. This behavioral pattern suggests that early and automatic responding to socio-emotional cues such as facial expressions might be aberrant in hypomania. The present study tested the predictions that participants selected on hypomania-like trait would show hypovigilant responses to facial cues of danger and increased responses to facial cues of reward. METHODS: From a group of 513, the 16 most trait-hypomanic individuals were selected by use of a shortened version of an established self-report instrument, the General Behavior Inventory (GBI). Their spatial-attentional responses after perception of dynamic fearful and happy facial gaze cues were compared with those of 12 controls. RESULTS: The group difference for full GBI hypomania scores was reliable (p=0.000). Individuals with elevated hypomanic traits clearly demonstrated attentional hypovigilance after perception of fearful, laterally gazing faces (p=0.009). In addition, unlike controls, they demonstrated reliable attentional responding to happy gaze cues (p=0.007). CONCLUSIONS: These data provide the first experimental evidence that hypomania-like trait is associated with hypovigilant, fearless responding to the social cue of an emotionally expressive gaze.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 17988370 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Neural activation during encoding of emotional faces in pediatric bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disord. 2007 Nov;9(7):679-92
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Dickstein DP, Rich BA, Roberson-Nay R, Berghorst L, Vinton D, Pine DS, Leibenluft E
OBJECTIVE: Neurobiological understanding of bipolar disorder (BD) is limited by a paucity of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research examining correlates of psychological processes. To begin to address these limitations, the current study tests the hypothesis that pediatric BD (PBD) subjects exhibit altered neural activation during encoding of emotional faces compared to typically developing controls. METHODS: Pediatric BD subjects (n=23; mean age=14.2+/-3.1 years) and controls (n=22; mean age=14.7+/-2.3 years) were matched on age, gender, and IQ. In this event-related fMRI study, subjects were scanned while viewing emotional faces and given a surprise recognition memory test 30 min postscan. Our main outcome measure was between-group differences in neural activation during successful versus unsuccessful face encoding. RESULTS: Pediatric BD youth exhibited reduced memory for emotional faces, relative to healthy comparisons, particularly on fearful faces. Event-related fMRI analyses controlling for this behavioral difference showed that PBD subjects, compared to controls, had increased neural activation in the striatum and anterior cingulate cortex when successfully encoding happy faces and in the orbitofrontal cortex when successfully encoding angry faces. There were no between-group differences in neural activation during fearful face encoding. CONCLUSIONS: Our results extend what is known about memory and face emotion processing impairments in PBD subjects by showing increased fronto-striatal activation during encoding of emotional faces. Further work is required to determine the impact of mood state, medication, and comorbid illnesses on these findings.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 17988357 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Using indices of happiness to examine the influence of environmental enhancements for nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease.
J Appl Behav Anal. 2007;40(3):541-4
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Moore K, Delaney JA, Dixon MR
The present study extends the growing behavioral literature on indices of happiness for persons with developmental disabilities to the geriatric population. Data on indices of emotional affect (i.e., happiness) were collected prior to, during, and after each resident was exposed to environmental enhancement activities of various durations. Results showed that every activity improved each resident's level of happiness when compared to pre- and postactivity levels. These outcomes suggest that indexing affect may be as useful for nursing home residents as it has been for individuals with developmental disabilities.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 17970267 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Selective effects of upper respiratory tract infection on cognition, mood and emotion processing: a prospective study.
Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Mar;22(3):399-407
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Bucks RS, Gidron Y, Harris P, Teeling J, Wesnes KA, Perry VH
Observational and experimentally induced infection studies show that upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) affect mood and cognition. This study tested the effects of naturally occurring URTI on cognition, mood and emotional processing, using a prospective design, with a broader array of tests than previous research, and with well matched control participants. Eighty participants (42 younger, M age 20.3 years; 38 older, M age 64.3 years) underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline. Once a participant had URTI symptoms, s/he and a healthy, matched participant were retested. The Cognitive Drug Research computerised assessment battery was used to assess Power and Continuity of Attention, Quality of Episodic and Working Memory, Speed of Memory, and mood. Additionally, emotional processing was measured on matching of emotionally-negative faces with faces and faces with labels. Forty-two of 80 participants were matched (21 well, 21 ill). Well participants improved in Speed of Memory and face-label reaction time. Despite a lack of fever, ill participants demonstrated significantly smaller improvements. Older participants reported feeling less alert if ill, and less stressed if well, than at baseline. All ill participants reported less contentment than at baseline than well participants. Severity of URTI symptoms correlated with changes in Speed of Memory and mood. Even without fever, infectious disease produces large disturbances in speed of cognitive processing, particularly that reflecting retrieval from memory, and these effects are more marked in older participants. URTIs also affect mood. Future studies need to examine the role of inflammatory molecules and the brain regions implicated in mediating these findings.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 17967526 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]
Developmental and environmental factors supporting the health and well-being of Aboriginal adolescents.
Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2007 Jul-Sep;19(3):345-54
Authors: (Psychology of happiness selection) Silburn SR, Blair E, Griffin JA, Zubrick SR, Lawrence DM, Mitrou FG, De Maio JA
Little progress has been made in the past 30 years in closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians in terms of their educational outcomes, rates of incarceration, risks for chronic illnesses and reduced life-expectancy. The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey is the first population based survey of its kind developed specifically to inform policy and planning to improve the developmental health of Aboriginal children and youth. A random representative sample of 5,289 Aboriginal children aged 0-17 years, including 1,480 adolescents aged 12-17 years was surveyed through household based interviews with carers and adolescents, questionnaire data from schools and consensual record linkage to health service and education system data. The findings describe the prevalence and relative impact of developmental and environmental factors associated with the health and mental outcomes of Aboriginal adolescents. The major portion of the overall burden of disorder is now evident in the more urbanised living settings of Aboriginal families. Some health risk behaviours such as poor dietary intake, smoking, unprotected sex and insufficient physical exercise are more common in Aboriginal adolescents. However, others such as alcohol and marijuana use and suicidal behaviour occur at similar levels to those seen in non-Aboriginal youth.
PMID:( Psychology of happiness) 17937151 [indexed for MEDLINE( Psychology of happiness )]