Subjective Well-Being, Social Interpretation, and Relationship Thriving


Heintzelman, S. J., & Diener, E. (2018). Subjective well-being, social interpretation, and relationship thriving. Journal of Research in Personality, 78, 93-105.


Social interactions are open to a range of interpretations. We examine the associations among subjective well-being, social interpretations, and social thriving. In Study 1 (N = 276) positive affect (PA) was associated with positive interpretations of neutral faces. In Studies 2 and 3 (Ns = 295, 298) PA and life satis- faction were associated with positive interpretations of ambiguous and positive, but not negative, social interaction vignettes. In Study 4 (N = 501) there were indirect relationships of PA and life satisfaction on social thriving through interpretations. Subjective well-being’s association with social interpretations provides a critical base of support for conclusions from previous methodologically limited mood and social interpretation studies. This work also provides initial evidence for a role of social interpretation tendencies in social thriving.

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