Purpose, mood, and pleasure in prediction satisfaction judgements


Diener, E., Fujita, F., Tay, L., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2012). Purpose, mood, and pleasure in prediction satisfaction judgements. Social Indicators Research, 105(3), 333-341.


We examined the extent to which satisfaction with life, with one’s self, and with one’s day are predicted by pleasure, purpose in life, interest, and mood. In a sample of 222 college students we found that both satisfaction with life and self-esteem were best predicted by positive feelings and an absence of negative feelings, as well as purpose in life. By contrast, satisfaction with individual days was predicted by negative feelings, and very strongly predicted by positive feelings, but not by purpose in life. In predicting life satisfaction purpose in life provided a buffering effect for lower levels of mood. People high in purpose in life reported high levels of life satisfaction even with moderate levels of mood. Thus, what makes a satisfying day is different from what makes a satisfying life or self. Life and self satisfaction were predicted significantly by purpose in life even after controlling for physical pleasure and affect balance, suggesting that they are more than just hedonic variables.

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