Correlational finding on Happiness and Balance of negative- and positive life-events
Subject code: L06ab01g

StudySeidlitz & Diener (1993): study US 1988 /2
TitleMemory for Positive versus Negative Life Events: Theories for the Differences between Happy and Unhappy Persons.
SourceJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1993, Vol. 64, 654 - 664
PublicPsychology students, selected for earlier happiness, followed 11 month, USA, 198?-8?
Sample
Non-ResponseDrop-out: T0-T1: 28%, T1-T2: 41%
Respondents N =54

Correlate
Author's labelBalance of recalled life-events; 3 yrs (free recall)
Page in Source 661
Our classificationBalance of negative- and positive life-events, code L06ab01g
Operationalization
Subjects were asked to recall and list as many positive 
(or negative) life-events as they could in 3 minutes.
- T1: events in the last 3 years
- T2: events in the 3 years before T1. 
Random order of positive- and negative tests.

Assessed at T1 and T2 (11 month interval) The period in 
which the reported events took place is the same at 
both assesments.

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
A-AOL-g-sq-v-11-ar=+.30 p < .05
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-aDM=+
positive recall     
- happy Ss:      T1: 9.5   T2: 11.3    
- unhappy Ss     T1: 7.8   T2:  8.2
A-AOL-g-sq-v-11-arpc=+.22 p < .n2
rpc controled for current mood
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-aDM=-
negative recall     
- happy Ss:      T1: 5.6   T2: 6.1    
- unhappy Ss     T1: 6.5   T2: 6.3
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-aDM=+
recall balance    
- happy Ss:      T1: 4.0   T2: 5.2    
- unhappy Ss     T1: 1.2   T2: 1.9
     
Time-effect ns
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-ar=+.50 p < .001
T1 happiness with T1 balance of recalled events
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-ar=+.45 p < .01
T1 happiness with T2 balance of recalled events
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-ar=+.49 p < .001
T2 happiness with T1 balance of recalled events
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-ar=+.37 p < .01
T2 happiness with T2 balance of recalled events


Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
A-AOL-g-mq-*-0-aSelfreport on 2 questions:

A: "In general how happy or unhappy do you usually feel? Check the one statement below that best describes your average happiness.
10 extremely happy (feeling ecstatic, joyous, fantastic)
9 very happy (feeling really good, elated)
8 pretty happy (spirits high, feeling good)
7 mildly happy (feeling fairly good and somewhat cheerful)
6 slightly happy (just a bit above neutral)
5 neutral (not particularly happy or unhappy)
4 slightly unhappy (just a bit below neutral)
3 mildly unhappy (just a little low)
2 pretty unhappy (somewhat "blue", spirits down)
1 very unhappy (depressed, spirits very low)
0 extremely unhappy (utterly depressed, completely down)"

B: "Consider your emotions a moment further. On the average.
- What percent of the time do you feel happy?
- What percent of the time do you feel unhappy?
- What percent of the time do you feel neutral (neither happy
nor unhappy)?
Make sure the three figures add-up to equal 100%".

Scoring:
- Question A : 0.- 10
- Question B : % happy
Summation : (A * 10 + B)/2
A-AOL-g-sq-v-11-aSelfreport on single question:

." In general how happy or unhappy do you usually feel....?"
Check the one statement that best describes your average happiness.
10 extremely happy (feeling ecstatic, joyous, fantastic)
9 very happy (feeling really good, elated)
8 pretty happy (spirits high, feeling good)
7 mildly happy (feeling fairly good and somewhat cheerful)
6 slightly happy (just a bit above neutral)
5 neutral (not particularly happy or unhappy)
4 slightly unhappy (just a bit below neutral)
3 mildly unhappy (just a little low)
2 pretty unhappy (somewhat "blue", spirits down)
1 very unhappy (depressed, spirits very low)
0 extremely unhappy (utterly depressed, completely down)

Fordyce Happiness Scale


Appendix 2: Statistics used
SymbolExplanation
DMDIFFERENCE of MEANS
Type: descriptive statistic only.
Measurement level: Correlate: dichotomous, Happiness: metric
Range: depending on the happiness rating scale of the author; range symmetric about zero.

Meaning: the difference of the mean happiness, as measured on the author's rating scale, between the two correlate levels.
rPRODUCT-MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENT (Also "Pearson's correlation coefficient' or simply 'correlation coefficient')
Type: test statistic.
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning:
r = 0 no correlation ,
r = 1 perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with high happiness values, and
r = -1 perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with low happiness values.
rpcPARTIAL CORRELATION COEFFICIENT
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning: a partial correlation between happiness and one of the correlates is that correlation, which remains after accounting for the contribution of the other influences, or some of them, to the total variability in the happiness scores.
Under that conditions
rpc > 0 a higher correlate level corresponds with a higher happiness rating,
rpc < 0 a higher correlate level corresponds with a lower happiness rating,
Source:
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
https://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl