Reexamining adaptation and the set point model of happiness: reactions to changes in marital status

Lucas, Richard E., Clark, Andrew E., Georgellis, Yannis and Diener, Ed (2003) Reexamining adaptation and the set point model of happiness: reactions to changes in marital status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(3), pp. 527-539. ISSN (print) 0022-3514

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Abstract

According to adaptation theory, individuals react to events but quickly adapt back to baseline levels of subjective well-being. To test this idea, the authors used data from a 15-year longitudinal study of over 24.000 individuals to examine the effects of marital transitions on life satisfaction. On average, individuals reacted to events and then adapted back toward baseline levels. However, there were substantial individual differences in this tendency. Individuals who initially reacted strongly were still far from baseline years later, and many people exhibited trajectories that were in the opposite direction to that predicted by adaptation theory. Thus, marital transitions can be associated with long-lasting changes in satisfaction, but these changes can be overlooked when only average trends are examined.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Accounting and finance
Business and management studies
Economics and econometrics
Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Business and Law
Faculty of Business and Law > Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society (CRESS)
Faculty of Business and Law > Kingston Business School (Leadership, HRM and Organisation) (until July 2013)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Yannis Georgellis
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2011 14:21
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2012 13:28
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/21016

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