Findings on happiness in Watson (1930): study US 1928

Author(s)Watson, G.
TitleHappiness Among Adult Students of Education.
SourceJournal of Educational Psychology, 1930, Vol. 21, 79 - 109
DOIdoi: 10.1037/h0070539
PublicGraduate students of education (teachers), Columbia University, USA, 192?
 Year of data gathering not reported
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 Non-probability chunk sample using attendants of a psychology course. Average age 30.
Respondents N =388
 Most of the analysis is based on the answers of 50 males and 124 females (N = 174).
Non Response-
AssesmentQuestionnaire: paper
 Lowly structured
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: "Among the following description arranged in miscellaneous order, choose the one which comes nearest to fitting you. None will be likely to fit exactly." 3 Finding life rather disappointing and disillusioning, comfortable in many ways, moderately successful, but far from realizing the hopes of youth. 9 Cheerful, gay spirits most of the time. Occasionally bothered by something but can usually laugh it off. 8 Calm, quiet sort of satisfaction. Life has been pretty good. Not everything one desires comes, of course, but on the whole there is much for which to be serenely thankful. 5 Ups and downs, now happy about things, now depressed. About balanced in the long run. 1 Life often seems so worthless that there is little to keep one going. Nothing matters very much, there has been so much of hurt that laughter would be empty mockery. 2 Keeping a brave front, others think everything is all right. Inside life seems rather black. 1 Usually sad, weep readily, smile seldom. 11 Radiant, find every day full of interest, amusing things, and worthwhile things. 3 Seriously hurt by certain things, for which the good aspects of life cannot quite make up. 5 Quite objective. Like some experiences, dislike others. Not aware of any prevalent happiness or unhappiness.
Author's labelHappiness
Finding used in
nation ranks

Full textSelfreport on open question: Now write in your own words a sentence of two, something which you believe will most truly describe your own general happiness in life. The answers were rated by three judges on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. 0 low 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 high
Author's labelHappiness
Finding used in
nation ranks

Full textSelfreport on 50 questions: Below is a list of words and phrases. Check every term which you believe could fairly be applied to yourself in prevalent attitudes. (yes/no) A Enthusiastic B Morbid C Disappointed D Distressed E Cheerful F Prosperous G Frivolous H Troubled I Annoyed J Calm K Miserable L Thrilled M Irritable N Buoyant O Joyful . . . . . . . AX The total list contained fifty adjectives, half positive and half negative Scoring: yes = +1 no = -1 Summation: number of happy traits mentioned minus number of unhappy traits mentioned. Possible range: - 50 to + 50
Author's labelHappiness
Finding used in
nation ranks

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Perceived happy imageH11adPerceived reputation of happiness
Popularity with opposite sexP10ab02cPopularity with opposite sex
Popularity with samesexP10ab02bPopularity with same sex