Exam 2 Lectures
Exam 2 Lectures Psy 337
Popular in Psychology of Happiness
verified elite notetaker
Sociology 1101: Introductory Sociology
verified elite notetaker
POLI 360 001
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Psychlogy
verified elite notetaker
This 18 page Study Guide was uploaded by Laura Pratt on Sunday March 20, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Psy 337 at California State University Long Beach taught by Dr. Dan Chiappe in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Happiness in Psychlogy at California State University Long Beach.
Reviews for Exam 2 Lectures
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 03/20/16
Psychology of Happiness Lecture 5 Learning objectives (1) Do people accurately remember how they felt during events? (2) What is the difference between the experiencing self and the remembering self? (3) What is the peakend rule and what evidence supports it? (4) What are the consequences of experienced and remembered wellbeing? Remembered and experienced wellbeing We have seen that people do not always correctly predict how they will feel under certain circumstances. In this lesson, we will see that they do not always accurately remember how they felt during certain events. E.g., Wirtz, Kruger, Scollon and Diener (2003) Examined how people experience and remember Spring Break vacations. Wirtz, Kruger, Scollon and Diener (2003) College students surveyed at several points before, during, and after a spring break. Rated positive affect by how intensely they felt: happy, calm, pleasant and joyful on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 6 (maximum intensity). = averaged into single measure of positive affect. Negative affect = how intensely they felt: irritated, guilty, sad, worried, and unpleasant. Rated on the same scale. = averaged to create a single measure of negative affect. Wirtz, Kruger, Scollon and Diener (2003) Overall subjective experience: Participants rated these statements: “I expect to enjoy (I am enjoying) spring break,” “I think this spring break will be (is) fun,” and “ will be (I am) satisfied with this vacation.” = averaged to a single measure of overall quality of the experience. Measures taken: (1) two weeks before the vacation, (2) two to four days before the vacation, (3) during the vacation, (4) two to four days after the vacation, and (5) four weeks after the vacation. Wirtz, Kruger, Scollon and Diener (2003) Results: People predicted a higher quality subjective experience than they actually had. They also remembered a higher quality subjective experience than they actually had. They also predicted and remembered more intense positive emotions and negative emotions than they actually experienced. Wirtz, Kruger, Scollon and Diener (2003) What happened 5 weeks after the vacation? S’s were asked to come in to receive payment for their participation. At this time they were asked: “Would you take this same vacation over again (assuming you hadn’t just been there, but that you know what you now know)? Used a scale from 1 (definitely no) to 7 (definitely yes). Wirtz, Kruger, Scollon and Diener (2003) The only thing that predicted the desire to repeat the vacation was remembered experience. Lessons: (1) People’s memories for how they felt during events is not always accurate. (2) Remembered experience is more important at predicting future choices than actual experience. Remembering and Experiencing Self Kahneman explains the results found in this study and others in terms of “two selves” everyone possesses. Experiencing Self: Lives through every moment. Each moment consists of goals and activities, a number of thoughts and ideas, and feelings of pleasure or displeasure. Remembering Self: Looks back over long stretches of time, and evaluates the experiences for their overall quality. The remembering self is more stable than the experiencing self, whose experiences fluctuate. Remembering and Experiencing Self E.g., listening to music and the piece has a scratch near the end. “It ruined the experience!” What is ruined is the memory of the experience, not the experience itself. The remembering self is strongly affected by the way that an event ends. PeakEnd Rule: How we remember the hedonic quality of episodes is an average of the ending moment and the most intense positive and negative moments. Kahneman, Frederickson, Schreiber, & Redelmeier (1993) Participants were given two negative experiences, and were then given a choice of which of them to repeat on a third trial. The two conditions were 7 minutes apart. Condition 1 = Short condition. People put their hand in cold water at 14 degrees Celsius for 60 seconds. Condition 2 = Long condition. People put their hand in 14˚C water for 60 seconds, and then for an additional 30 seconds at 15 degrees Celsius. Kahneman, Frederickson, Schreiber, & Redelmeier (1993) Participants indicated discomfort using a “discomfort meter” I.e., they adjusted a dial that determined how many of 15 LEDs lit up, with more LED’s indicating greater discomfort. This was done throughout the trials. Discomfort values ranged from 0 to 14. There was a lot of discomfort in the 60 Seconds of the short condition, and in the 60 seconds of the long condition. Kahneman, Frederickson, Schreiber, & Redelmeier (1993) In the long condition, the 30 sec at the end was also experienced negatively, but less so. I.e., 21 S’s reported less discomfort, and 11 no change in discomfort in the 30 seconds. Kahneman, Frederickson, Schreiber, & Redelmeier (1993) Which option did people opt to repeat for a third trial? Those that did not report a decrease in discomfort during the second part of the long condition chose condition 1 and 2 equally often. Still irrational because they should choose 1 in order to minimize overall discomfort. Those that reported less discomfort in the second portion of the long condition were much more likely to choose condition 2. Kahneman, Frederickson, Schreiber, & Redelmeier (1993) When people choose to repeat the long condition, they are deciding to accept more pain rather than less pain. = irrational. Peakend rule explains the results: The reason people choose to repeat the long condition is that the average discomfort of the peak pain and the end pain is less in the long condition than in the short condition. Happy endings are important! Though participants are experiencing more pain overall in the long condition than in the short condition, the Remembering Self sees it differently. From its perspective, the peakend rule means that the added period of diminishing pain at the end makes the memory of the long trial better. Redelmeier, Katz, & Kahneman (2003) Similar results have been found looking at colonoscopy patients. In one study they had two conditions – standard and extended. Standard = scope is removed right away once the procedure is complete. Extended = leaving the tip of the scope in rectum for additional 3 min. People rated discomfort throughout the procedure. Colonoscopy procedure Redelmeier, Katz, & Kahneman (2003) People in the extended group reported that the overall experience was not as unpleasant as those in the standard group. = consistent with the peakend rule because they had less discomfort during the ending. The extended group participants were also likely to consent to repeating the procedure if needed at a later point in time. Has important health consequences! Kahneman and Riis (2005) Remembered wellbeing affects the choices that you make in life. Experienced wellbeing has important health consequences. Prolonged states of anxiety or depression may negatively affect your health, while prolonged states of good mood and joy may act as buffers against disease. Both are important so we need to measure both types of happiness. Summary We saw that people don’t always accurately remember how they felt during an event. Distinguished between the remembering self and the experiencing self. Discussed the peakend rule. Examined the consequences of experienced and remembered wellbeing. Psychology of Happiness Lecture 6 Learning objectives (1) What is the relation between wealth and happiness? We will examine the relationship within countries, between countries, and historically. (2) Why do people overestimate the influence of wealth on their happiness? We will discuss the focusing illusion. Does money make people happy? Most economists and governments assume that wealth is of crucial importance to happiness. They assess how well a country is doing based on things like average income. People also behave as though money, and the things that they can buy with it, will make them happy. Gallup poll: Would you like to be rich? 1 in 2 women, and 2 in 3 men reported they would. Money and happiness Americans are becoming more moneyoriented. E.g., the American Council on Education surveys students entering college about their reasons for attending school, and what they hope to achieve Proportion of students who consider it “very important or essential” that they become “very well off financially” rose from 39% in 1970 to 74% in 1998. Among 19 objectives, it was rated #1. Money and happiness Becoming financially successful outranked “developing a meaningful philosophy of life,” “becoming an authority in my field,” “helping others in difficulty,” and “raising a family.” What about international data? If wealth is important to happiness, we should find a steady increase in happiness as the average wealth of countries increases. International comparisons World Bank has calculated a subjective wellbeing index for different countries. Uses percentage of people in a country describing themselves as “very happy” or “happy” and subtract the percentage describing themselves as “not very happy” or “unhappy.” It combines this with people’s ratings of overall satisfaction with their lives. World Bank compares this index to the Gross National Product (GNP)/capita, the average income of people in a given country. International comparisons Results from the 1991 survey: International comparisons In general, the countries that are the lowest in GNP also tend to be lower in subjective wellbeing. But, even within low GNP countries, there are large differences in subjective well being that don’t seem related to GNP. Likewise, among nations with a GNP of more than $8000 a year, the correlation between national wealth and well being is virtually nonexistent. Money is therefore not the whole story about what underlies happiness across nations. Wealth and happiness within countries Within affluent countries, where most can afford the necessities of life, wealth matters little. There is a positive correlation between wealth and happiness, but this is largely due to the bottom end of the income distribution. Happiness is lower among the very poor. Once comfortable, more money yields “diminishing returns” on happiness. I.e., beyond a certain level, happiness increases very little with each subsequent increase in wealth. Relationship depends on how happiness is assessed According to Kahneman and his colleagues, the relationship between income and happiness is smaller if a measure of experienced happiness is used instead of the global reports of happiness. E.g., Kahneman, Schkade, Fischler, Krueger, and Krilla (2006). Compared “experiential” measures of happiness and life satisfaction measures with respect to the relation between income and happiness. Kahneman et al. (2006) Women in Ohio rated overall life satisfaction and also had them calculate how much of the previous day they had been in a good mood (as an experiential measure of happiness). Kahneman et al. (2006) The life satisfaction survey had higher correlations with household income than did the amount of time the S’s spent in a good mood the previous day. Has been replicated in many studies. Why are life satisfaction measures more strongly related to happiness than experiential measures? Likely because people are more likely to think about how much money they have when they are in a more reflective mood, instead of when they are just going about their day. Stone and Shiffman (1994) They used the Experience Sampling technique. Involves contacting people in real time with beepers several times during a typical work day. S’s had to rate the intensity of various feelings (positive and negative) on a 3 point scale. Tested 374 workers at 10 different worksites that varied in how much people got paid. They recorded annual family income. The correlation between annual income and average rating of happiness during the day was just +.01 (not significant!). Stone and Shiffman (1994) However, personal income did have significant positive correlations with ratings of anger and hostility (r = +.14), with being anxious and tense (r = +.14) and being excited (r = +.18). In this study, then, higher income was associated with more intensely experienced negative emotions and greater arousal, but not greater happiness. Wealth and happiness historically Wealth has increased in America, but are people happier now than in the past? Living conditions have improved in just about every respect. E.g., In 1940, 2 out of 5 homes lacked a shower or bathtub. Heat often meant feeding a furnace wood or coal, and 35% of homes even had no toilet. John Galbraith in 1957: America = the “affluent society.” Americans’ per person income was $9,000 in current dollars. Today it is upwards of $20,000. Wealth and happiness historically Americans now own twice as many cars per person, eat out more than twice as often, and often enjoy microwave ovens, big screen TVs, and home computers. From 1960 to 1997 the percentage of homes with dishwashers increased from 7% to 50%. Clothes dryers increased from 20% to 71% and air conditioning increased from 15% to 73%. If wealth is important to happiness, we should find that happiness has increased over the decades. Wealth and happiness historically Census data results: Wealth and happiness historically The same results have been found in countries like Japan and in many European countries. Our becoming much better off over the last half century has not been accompanied by one iota of increased subjective wellbeing. This is a blow to modern materialism and capitalism, which is predicated on the notion that purchasing power is directly linked to happiness. The focusing illusion Why are people prone to exaggerate the importance of income to happiness? One reason has to do with what Kahneman calls the “focusing illusion.” Focusing illusion: when people consider the importance of a single factor on their wellbeing, such as income, they tend to exaggerate its importance. We are constantly being bombarded by statements regarding the importance of money to our lives. Focusing illusion “How important is X to your wellbeing?” By focusing on X, people rate X as being of greater importance than it actually is. E.g., Strack, Martin and Schwartz (1988). Asked students the following: (i) How happy are you with your life in general? (ii) How many dates did you have in the last month? When they asked these two questions in this order, the correlation between the ratings was nonsignificant, at .012. When S’s were 1 asked how many dates they had in the last month, followed by their overall life satisfaction, the correlation was +.66! Focusing illusion Similar things have been found when people are asked to think about their marriage or their health. These things become more important to ratings of happiness when people have their attention drawn to these factors. Schkade and Kahneman (1998): “Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” Evidence for focusing illusion Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwartz, and Stone (2006) Asked a large sample of women how much time they had spent in a bad mood the previous day. → focus on bad moods! They were also asked to predict the percentage of time that people in different types of life circumstances spend in a bad mood on an average day. I.e., high income vs. low income, woman over 40 married vs. unmarried, supervision at work close vs. not close, and no health insurance vs. excellent benefits. Kahneman et al. (2006) They compared the predictions of the women against actual percentages given by people that fit the relevant criteria. Kahneman et al. (2006) None of the actual differences in bad mood between the two groups of people are significantly different from each other. But, the predicted levels of bad mood for each group were E.g., Women predicted low income people would have more bad moods than high income. However it was not borne out in the actual moods experienced Kahneman et al. (2006) None of the actual differences in bad mood between the two groups of people are significantly different from each other. But, the predicted levels of bad mood for each group were significantly different. E.g., Women predicted low income people would have more bad moods than high income. However it was not borne out in the actual moods experienced by people in those 2 categories. Kahneman et al. (2006) Summary: There was a focusing illusion at work, as asking the women about the importance of various variables led them to overestimate their importance. Focusing illusion and the psychological immune system Changing circumstances can significantly affect wellbeing in the short run. E.g., disability. In the long run, however, people adapt by changing their attentional focus. They start to derive pleasure from other things and ignore those things they used to be able to do. Focusing illusion However, if asked about the impact of their condition on their happiness later on, it can once again be given undue weight. They push to the background all the things that had been giving them pleasure on a daily basis and once again focus on those things that they can no longer do. Happiness ratings go down as a result of the focusing illusion. Summary Once the basic necessities are met, there is little relation between wealth and happiness. Relationship is smaller when online “experiential” measures are used rather than life satisfaction measures. The focusing illusion may be a reason why people put so much emphasis on pursuing wealth. Psychology of Happiness Lecture 7 Learning objectives 1. Is happiness partly innate? 2. What life outcomes are predicted by happiness? 3. What personality traits linked with happiness? 4. What is optimism? I. Is happiness partly innate? Lykken and Tellegen (1996) used the Minnesota Twin Registry. = a registry of MZ and DZ twins born in Minnesota between 1936 and 1955. Presented the twins the Well Being scale of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). High scorers on this scale describe themselves as: Having a cheerful happy disposition; feeling good about themselves; seeing a bright future ahead; being optimists; living interesting, exciting lives; enjoying the things they are doing. Lykken and Tellegen (1996) Compared the twins that were MZ or DZ, and whether they were reared together or apart. Each of the twins was given the wellbeing scale middle age, and looked at the correlations between the scores of the two twins. Lykken and Tellegen (1996) Main findings: For the twins reared in the same household, the correlations in SWB among MZ twins is much higher than for the DZ twins. That could be because the MZ twins receive the same treatment from their parents and others. When the twins reared apart, the DZ twins have virtually no correlation with each other, and the MZ twins have a very high correlation in their SWB scores. There is therefore a strong genetic component to happiness. II. Outcomes predicted by happiness Harker and Keltner (2001). Can happiness early in life predict marital prospects and happiness later in life? Carried out a longitudinal study of 141 female students at Mills College in 1960 who were 21 at the beginning of the study. Women were later contacted at age 27, 43, and 52. Had to provide information on their health, marriage status, family. Happiness was assessed with the CPI. High scorers feel satisfied with their lives, have good relationships with others, withstand stress well and report an absence of physical illness. Harker and Keltner (2001) Also looked at the senior yearbook photos at age 21. Each woman’s photo was coded for the degree to which they displayed = genuine smile that involves muscles around They found that the intensity of positive emotional expression in the photo could predict important life outcomes. Harker and Keltner (2001) Also looked at the senior yearbook photos at age 21. Each woman’s photo was coded for the degree to which they displayed the Duchenne smile. = genuine smile that involves muscles around the eyes, as well as muscles around the mouth. They found that the intensity of positive emotional expression in the photo could predict important life outcomes. Harker and Keltner (2001) The greater the Duchenne smile in yearbook photo, the more likely the women were to be married by age 27. They also tended to have more marital satisfaction and scored higher on the CPI throughout the lifespan. Danner, Snowdon and Friesen (2001) Positive emotion and longevity among nuns. Nuns are an interesting group because they live in very similar environments, enter convents around the same time, and yet have substantial differences in longevity and happiness. Their situation allows us to explore the importance of individual personality characteristics. Examined 180 Catholic nuns living in a convent in Milwaukee and Boston. Nuns had to write autobiographical sketches indicating their desires pertaining to a career as a Catholic nun. Danner, Snowdon and Friesen (2001) Two sample essays: (1) God started my life off well by bestowing upon me grace of inestimable value…The past year which I spent as a candidate studying at Notre Dame has been a happy one. Now I look forward with eager joy to receiving the Holy Habit of Our Lady and to a life of union with Love Divine. (sister Cecilia) (2) I was born on September 26, 1909, the eldest of 7 children, 5 girls and 2 boys…My candidate year was spent in the mother house, teaching chemistry and second year Latin at Notre Dame Institute. With God’s grace, I intend to do my best for our Order, for the spread of religion and for my personal sanctification. (sister Marguerite) Danner, Snowdon and Friesen (2001) The autobiographical sketches were rated for positive emotional content. E.g., Cecilia used the words “very happy” and “eager joy”, while Marguerite contained not a single bit of positive emotion. Rated by people that did not know how long the nuns had lived or what the purpose of the study was. Authors divided nuns into one of four quartiles, ranging from the least cheerful quartile to the most cheerful. Danner, Snowdon and Friesen (2001) 80% of the most cheerful quartile was alive at age 85, versus only 54% of the least cheerful. 54% of the most cheerful quartile was alive at age 94, as opposed to 11% of the least cheerful quartile. Happiest nuns lived longer! III. Personality characteristics linked with happiness (1) Extroversion is positively related to happiness. Extroversion: Extroverts enjoy human interactions and are enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings. Introverts tend to be more reserved and less assertive in social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities, e.g., reading, writing, drawing, playing musical instruments or using computers. Personality and Happiness Costa and McCrae (1980) found a positive correlation between extroversion and happiness of +.50. This effect is so powerful that extroversion could predict happiness even 17 years later! Summary: Because extroverts are more assertive socially, they develop better social skills and are therefore likely to have positive social experiences. They get more benefits from their social interactions than introverts. Personality and Happiness (2) Neuroticism is negatively related to happiness. Neuroticism: An enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely to experience feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depression. They also tend to respond poorly to environmental stress, are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening. Those low in neuroticism are more emotionally stable and less reactive to stress. Personality and Happiness Hills and Argyle (2001) found a correlation of .67 between neuroticism and happiness, measured by the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Extroversion was correlated +.61 with happiness. The study supports the importance of both extroversion and neuroticism to happiness. The next factors are “cognitive” aspects of personality. Personality and Happiness (3) Self esteem is positively related to happiness. Selfesteem: Sense of selfworth and selfregard. People with high selfesteem feel good about themselves. They believe they have a lot of integrity and that they really matter as human beings. They feel they are worthy of being loved and respected by others. Hills and Argyle (2001) found that selfesteem was correlated + .78 with OHI happiness. Personality and Happiness (4) Internal locus of control is related to happiness. Locus of control: the extent to which individuals believe that they can control the good and bad events that affect them. Those with a high internal locus of control believe that events result primarily from their own behavior and actions. Those with a high external locus of control believe that powerful others, fate, or chance primarily determine events. Personality and Happiness Lu, Shih, Lin and Ju (1997) used a sample of nearly 500 adults in Taiwan along with a Chinese version of the Oxford Happiness Inventory. They found that internal locus of control correlated positively with happiness. Internal locus of control is the opposite of “learned helplessness.” Learned helplessness: When an animal learns that nothing that it does can change the likelihood that something bad will happen. Learned helplessness is one of the causes of depression. IV. Optimism Optimism: The tendency to believe that good things are going to happen, and that if you set a goal for yourself, you will be able to achieve it. Optimism predicts important outcomes including health, happiness and longevity. When coping with stressful events, optimistic people take a problemsolving approach, as opposed to simply giving up. They praise stresses and see them as opportunities for growth. Hills and Argyle (2001) found a correlation of +.75 between optimism and happiness assessed by OHI. Optimism Maruta, Colligan, Malinchoc, and Offord (2000) examined the link between optimism and longevity. Studied people that received treatment over 30 years before at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. When people are admitted to the clinic, they take a battery of physical and psychological tests, one of which assessed optimism. The study included over 800 participants. They found that the optimists had 19% greater longevity than the pessimists. Seligman’s optimism scale Seligman has developed a questionnaire that enables people to assess optimism. Each question describes a situation, and people choose between two options on how they would explain why the event or situation happened, or how they would react. E.g., “You fall down a great deal while skiing.” A. Skiing is difficult. B. The trails were icy. Each option has either a 0 or a 1 beside it, and you have to add up all the 1s for each of the four types of item. Seligman’s optimism scale The scoring method reveals two dimensions of optimism: Permanence and Pervasiveness. Optimists and pessimists differ in how they explain good events and bad events in terms of these two dimensions. Permanence: The explanations refer to unchanging characteristics. (a) When bad things happen, pessimists give up easily because they believe the causes of the bad events are permanent. Optimists believe bad events are temporary. Seligman’s optimism scale To calculate your permanence score for bad events (PmB), look at the 8 items marked PmB. Each one marked with a 0 is optimistic, and 1 is pessimistic. Add up the 1s. If your PmB total is 0 or 1, you are optimistic on the dimension of permanence for bad events. Those scoring 2 or 3 are moderate optimists and 4 is average. Those scoring 5 or 6 are quite pessimistic, while 7 or 8 are very pessimistic. Seligman’s optimism scale (b) When good things happen, optimists appeal to permanent explanations, pessimists to temporary ones. E.g., “You are frequently asked to dance at a party”: A. I am outgoing at parties. B. I was in perfect form that night. Optimists would be likely to choose A, pessimists B. The relevant items on the questionnaire are those labeled PmG. Add up 1s for those items. A total of 7 or 8 means one is very optimistic about the likelihood of good events continuing. A score of 6 is moderately optimistic, 4 and 5 is average, 3 is moderately pessimistic, and 02 is very pessimistic. Seligman’s optimism scale Pervasiveness: Whether the events are likely to have universal or specific effects. “Universal” = the effects of a particular cause are widespread so many things will be affected. “Specific” = the effects are limited to specific areas of a person’s life. (a) For bad events, pessimists explain their failure in a particular situation by appealing to a cause that is likely to affect everything. Optimists explain bad things by appealing to factors that are likely to only affect one particular part of their life. Seligman’s optimism scale People that make use of highly pervasive explanations of bad events are more likely to “People who make universal explanations for their failures give up on everything when a failure strikes in one area. People who make specific explanations may become helpless in that one part of their lives, yet march stalwartly on in the others” (Seligman, 2002, p. 90). E.g., a pessimist may explain their loss of a job by appealing to something that is likely to affect other parts of their lives, such as their low intelligence, general bad luck, poor social skills, etc. Optimist would appeal to something more specific, like poor qualifications for this job. Seligman’s optimism scale The questions marked PvB (Pervasiveness Bad) assess how pervasively people explain the causes of bad events. Add the 1’s up for those items, and that is your likelihood of catastrophizing. Scores of 0 or 1 are very optimistic, 2 and 3 are moderately optimistic, 4 average, 56 moderately pessimistic, and 7 or 8 very pessimistic. Seligman on optimism (b) For good things optimists appeal to general, pervasive factors, pessimists to more specific ones. E.g., if an optimist gets a promotion, she will attribute it to her general intelligence, good people skills. If a pessimist gets a promotion, they will attribute it to luck in this case, or good skills limited to this particular part of their life. To figure out how optimistic you are on the pervasiveness dimension for good events, add up the 1’s for those items labeled PvG. A score of 7 or 8 is very optimistic, 6 is moderately optimistic, 4 or 5 is average, 3 is moderately pessimistic, and 02 is very pessimistic. Learning to be optimistic It is possible to become more optimistic. Seligman: We need to learn to challenge pessimistic thoughts I.e., what assumptions are you making that cause you to be pessimistic in this situation? Are those beliefs warranted? Are you exaggerating? We use these strategies all the time when people criticize us. Psychology of Happiness Lecture 8 Learning objectives 1. What is pleasure vs. enjoyment? 2. What are the features of the flow experience? 3. Are some people likelier to experience flow? 4. What family contexts encourage flow? Flow and Enjoyment Csikszentmihalyi distinguishes pleasure from enjoyment. Pleasure: The feeling of contentment one achieves whenever a biological need, or a need set by social conditioning, is satisfied. E.g., The taste of food, alcohol, drugs and sleep. Requires minimal effort on our part. It does not produce psychological growth. Personal growth is central to people’s experience of enjoyment. Pleasure vs. Enjoyment “enjoyable events occur when a person has not only met some prior expectation or satisfied a need or a desire but also gone beyond what he or she has been programmed to do and achieved something unexpected, perhaps something even unimagined before” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 46). When people experience enjoyment, they “increase in complexity.” i.e., They develop additional skills to do things they couldn’t do before. (we don’t like to stay still for too long we like to grow) Pleasure vs. Enjoyment “Playing a close game of tennis that stretches one’s ability is enjoyable, as is reading a book that reveals things in a new light, as is having a conversation that leads us to express ideas we didn’t know we had” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 46). Enjoyment usually happens only as a result of the expenditure of considerable mental energy and attention. Central to enjoyment is the concept of “flow.” Components of the Flow experience (1) A challenging activity that requires skills. They are goaldirected activities where there are rules. The activity requires them to have skills. Can be physical or mental. E.g., musical instrument, sports, reading skills, social skills, etc. Must be selfconcordant The individual chooses to engage in the flow activity, and chooses to develop the skills necessary to carry them out. Components of the flow experience Activities have to be challenging, but challenges must fit skill level. For enjoyment, people have to be comfortable knowing they have the skills to meet the challenges at hand. If the challenges are too great → anxiety. If the challenges are too small → boredom. Have to constantly expose ourselves to new challenges to prevent boredom, motivating us to continue increasing our skills. Components of the flow experience (2) Merging of action and awareness. When a person experiences enjoyment, the activity completely absorbs their attention. People stop being aware of themselves as separate from the actions they are performing. E.g., a dancer. “Your concentration is very complete. Your mind isn’t wandering, you are not thinking of something else; you are totally involved in what you are doing….Your energy is flowing very smoothly. You feel relaxed, comfortable, and energetic” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 53). Components of the flow experience (3) Clear goals and feedback. It is easy to immerse ourselves in flow activities because the activities have clear goals, and feedback is usually immediate. E.g., Tennis, chess, musical instruments, teaching. The type of feedback that is relevant depends on the activity you are engaged in. Feedback is important because it allows you to rapidly adjust your performance. Elements of flow experiences (4) Distressing thoughts and problems are temporarily forgotten. There is no energy left to think about irrelevant things, due to the limited capacity of attention. E.g., high school basketball player. “Kids my age, they think a lot…but when you are playing basketball, that’s all there is on your mind—just basketball” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p, 58). Elements of flow experiences (5) Feelings of control. There is a lack of worry about losing control. E.g., dancer: “A strong sense of relaxation and calmness comes over me. I have no worries of failure.” E.g., chess player: “I have a general feeling of wellbeing, and that I am in complete control of my world.” Failure is possible but there is a feeling of the possibility for perfection. Elements of flow experiences Sense of control is also present in activities that involve a lot of risk. E.g., rock climbing, car racing. The enjoyment comes partly from minimizing the risks and not from the sheer exposure to danger. Elements of flow experiences Feeling of control can explain why flow activities can be addictive. People feel a sense of mastery over a domain that they don’t normally have in daily life. Flow activities can imprison a person. They become unwilling to cope with the ambiguities present in other areas of life. Need to ensure that we are following all three routes to happiness in order to have a balanced life. Elements of flow experiences (6) Loss of selfconsciousness. Because flow activities are so engrossing, there isn’t enough attention left for awareness of the self. E.g., Long distance sailboat runner: “One forgets oneself, one forgets everything, seeing only the play of the boat with the sea, the play of the sea around the boat, leaving aside everything not essential to that game.” Elements of flow experiences During ordinary experiences we don’t lose this sense of self. We need to constantly assess whether or not threats are serious, and what we should do about them. E.g., social situations. In flow, the activities have clear goals, stable rules, and challenges well matched to our skills, so there is little room for the self to be threatened. Altered sense of time Altered sense of time (7) Transformation of time. During flow experiences, the sense of time bears little relation to the objective passage of time measured by a clock. (8) Flow activities are autotelic not exotelic. Exotelic activities: Ones we do to get something else. They have no value in themselves. E.g., going to work for many. Autotelic activities: Ones that people do their for their own sake. They are intrinsically rewarding. The autotelic personality Some are more likely to experience flow. I.e., they are more likely to be able to immerse themselves completely in a skilled performance that they thoroughly enjoy = autotelic personality. Autotelic personality: A person who enjoys life and generally does things for their own sake rather than to achieve some external goal. = related to having high curiosity, being persistent and conscientious, and being low in selfcenteredness. = better at controlling attention. The autotelic personality Some people are worse at controlling attention. E.g., schizophrenics suffer from stimulus overinclusion. = when irrelevant thoughts and ideas pop into consciousness whether the person wants them to or not. People with a variety of attentional disorders also suffer from this. They have a harder time developing relevant skill sets, which makes it less likely that they will experience flow. The autotelic personality People with excessive selfconsciousness are less likely to experience flow. Those constantly worried about how others see them, or who are afraid of creating the wrong impression, or of doing something inappropriate, will not experience flow. They are less likely to grow in complexity as a result of their excessive self consciousness. Autotelic families What kinds of families encourage flow? The autotelic family context consist of five characteristics. (1) Clarity. The children know what the parents expect from them. There are clear goals and children get feedback on how they are meeting those goals. (2) Centering. The parents are interested in what the children are doing in the present, in their feelings and experiences therein. Autotelic families (3) Choice. Children are given reasonable options from which to choose, not too many and not too few. (4) Commitment. Parents provide a sense of trust that allows the child to feel comfortable and less selfconscious as she immerses herself in an activity that she is interested in. (5) Challenge. The parents provide increasingly complex opportunities for action to their children.
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'