Cognitive correlates of subjective well-being: The processing of valenced life events by happy and unhappy persons
Seidlitz, L., Wyer, R. S., & Diener, E. (1997). Cognitive correlates of subjective well-being: The processing of valenced life events by happy and unhappy persons. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(2), 240-256.
In a two-phase study, we examined the relations of subjective well-being with the cognitive processing of affectively valenced life events. In Phase 1, both more intense and more enduring reactions to positive life events than negative ones were associated with higher well-being, and for intensity of reactions, this relation was stronger for those events that were subsequently recalled. When equal numbers of positive and negative life events were eligible for recall, well-being was unrelated to the relative likelihood of recalling the two types of events. Phase 2 suggested that life events are organized in memory according to the domain in which they occur but not according to their valence. However, neither the organization nor the retrieval of life events correlated with well-being. In combination, these findings suggest that cognitive processes associated with the encoding of life events, but neither the organization nor the retrieval of these events, are associated with subjective well-being.
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