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The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?

Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 131, No. 6, 2005

53 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2013  

Sonja Lyubomirsky

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Psychology

Laura King

University of Missouri at Columbia

Ed Diener

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: January 10, 2013

Abstract

Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. The authors suggest a conceptual model to account for these findings, arguing that the happiness–success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success. Three classes of evidence — crosssectional, longitudinal, and experimental — are documented to test their model. Relevant studies are described and their effect sizes combined meta-analytically. The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that positive affect — the hallmark of well-being — may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness. Limitations, empirical issues, and important future research questions are discussed.

Keywords: happiness, subjective well-being, positive affect, positive emotions, meta-analysis

Suggested Citation

Lyubomirsky, Sonja and King, Laura and Diener, Ed, The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? (January 10, 2013). Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 131, No. 6, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199192

Sonja Lyubomirsky

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Psychology

Riverside, CA 92521-0426
United States

Laura King

University of Missouri at Columbia

113 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

Ed Diener (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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