Social activity and subjective well-being
Social activity has been identified as one of the most consistent predictors of peoples' subjective reports of happiness. Recent research has examined factors that influence this relationship, including personality moderators and distinctions among types of social activities. Two studies are reported in which undergraduates completed measures gauging their (a) extraversion, (b) need for social approval, and (c) satisfaction with and frequency of four types of social activities (with parents, relatives, friends, and groups). Subjective well-being was defined as (a) life satisfaction, (b) experience of positive affect, and (c) experience of negative affect. In addition, participants completed the measures while alone, with friends present, or with strangers present. Results revealed that satisfaction with social activities was the strongest (positive) predictor of subjective well-being, though the personality measures were significant (positive) predictors as well. Among frequency measures of social activity, the number of activities with groups was the only consistent (positive) predictor of happiness. Also, participants completing questionnaires in the presence of friends reported greater life satisfaction than participants completing questionnaires with strangers. © 1992.
Cooper, H; Okamura, L; Gurka, V
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