How Do Memories Affect Perception Of Happiness? Study Finds

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How Do Memories Affect Happiness

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the Association for Psychological Science explored how memories affect happiness. The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

The Study

In order to understand how we perceive memories of our past well-being, the researchers surveyed data from the 2006–16 German Socio-Economic Panel’s survey of German citizens’ well-being.

The respondents were asked to select one of nine line graphs that best reflected the trajectory of their life satisfaction over the past decade. They similarly analyzed data from the 1997–2009 British Household Panel Survey and the 1971–2006 Gallup Poll Social Series.

The Findings

The results revealed that current feelings influence memories of past happiness in both unhappy and happy people. The act of gauging and feeling happiness can be an elusive process, as our current feelings interfere with memories of our past well-being.

One of the lead researchers, Alberto Prati, explained: “Happy people tend to overstate the improvement of their life satisfaction over time, whereas unhappy ones tend to overstate the deterioration of their level of happiness. This indicates a certain confusion between feeling happy and feeling better.

To Know More You May Refer To

Prati, A., & Senik, C. (2022). Feeling Good Is Feeling Better. Psychological science33(11), 1828–1841.

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