Unemployment alters the set-point for life satisfaction
According to set-point theories of subjective well-being, people react to events, but then return toinitial levels of happiness and satisfaction over time. We test this idea by examining reaction andadaptation to unemployment in a 15-year longitudinal study. In accordance with set-point theory,individuals first reacted strongly to unemployment and then shifted back toward their former (or?baseline?) levels of life satisfaction. However, on average, individuals did not completely return totheir former levels of life satisfaction, even after they became re-employed. The findings suggeststhat even a short period of unemployment can cause an alteration in a person?s long-term set-point.Within-person analyses showed, however, that there are considerable individual differences inreaction and adaptation to unemployment. Although there was substantial stability in lifesatisfaction over the years, unemployment did influence long-term levels, thus suggesting that inaddition to personality, long-term subjective well-being can also be influenced by lifecircumstances.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||Clark, AF ; Georgellis, Y ; Lucas, RE ; Diener, E|
|Type of publication:||Book / Working Paper|
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