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The duration of daily activities has no impact on measures of overall wellbeing

Henwood, Amanda, Guerreiro, João, Matic, Aleksandar and Dolan, Paul (2022) The duration of daily activities has no impact on measures of overall wellbeing. Scientific Reports, 12 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41598-021-04606-9


It is widely assumed that the longer we spend in happier activities the happier we will be. In an intensive study of momentary happiness, we show that, in fact, longer time spent in happier activities does not lead to higher levels of reported happiness overall. This finding is replicated with different samples (student and diverse, multi-national panel), measures and methods of analysis. We explore different explanations for this seemingly paradoxical finding, providing fresh insight into the factors that do and do not affect the relationship between how happy we report feeling as a function of how long it lasts. This work calls into question the assumption that spending more time doing what we like will show up in making us happier, presenting a fundamental challenge to the validity of current tools used to measure happiness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 15:15
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 06:57

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