2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

The Negative Effects of Valuing Happiness
Shannon M. Lynch*, Simone L. Collins, Emelia C. Emmanuel, Savannah K. Johnson, Molly S. Meissen, Emily A. Searl, and Jayme N. Shadowens
Dr. Yuna Ferguson, Faculty Mentor

Can valuing happiness make you less happy? Mauss et al. (2011) found that valuing happiness can lead to less happiness due to the mediating effect of disappointment. We attempted to replicate these findings by testing whether people who highly value happiness would benefit from a happiness-inducing activity. Participants completed a series of questionnaires about their mood, personality, and tendency to value happiness. They next listened to tracks of classical music; those in the high intentions condition were instructed to consciously try to improve their mood, while those in the low intentions condition were instructed to simply relax. We found that in the high intention condition, an increase in negative affect positively correlated with valuing happiness. Furthermore, we found that valuing happiness was positively correlated with neuroticism and negatively correlated with optimism and happiness. These findings indicate that valuing happiness can in fact lead to less happiness in some situations.

Keywords: Happiness, Positive Psychology, Valuing Happiness, Mood Improvement

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 11-1
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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