Ed Diener

Ed Diener
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | UIUC · Department of Psychology

About

441
Publications
753,829
Reads
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167,288
Citations
Introduction
Ed Diener has conducted research on well-being for the past 37 years, and has over 250 publications on the topic. His CV lists this work, and is available at: eddiener.com
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
August 1974 - April 2018
Illinois, Utah, Virginia, Gallup
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • 37 years studying subjective well-being

Publications

Publications (441)
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we examined an unexplored type of partner knowledge—familiarity with partners’ subjective well-being (i.e., SWB familiarity). Using multilevel models, we analyzed data from 101 heterosexual couples to examine how SWB was associated with partner knowledge and to determine whether SWB familiarity was associated with relationship and me...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the prediction of affective well-being to work performance in the United States Army. We found that high positive affect (PA), low negative affect (NA), and high optimism predicted awards for performance and heroism in a sample of 908,096 U.S. Army soldiers (mean age 29.60 years old, SD = 9.16 years; with over ¼ of a million ethnic mino...
Article
It is often claimed that only experiments can support strong causal inferences and therefore they should be privileged in the behavioral sciences. We disagree. Overvaluing experiments results in their overuse both by researchers and decision makers and in an underappreciation of their shortcomings. Neglect of other methods often follows. Experiment...
Article
Full-text available
Research on well-being has exploded in recent years, with over 55,000 relevant publications annually, making it difficult for psychologists—including key communicators such as textbook authors—to stay current with this field. Moreover, well-being is a daily concern among policymakers and members of the general public. It is relevant to the lives of...
Article
Full-text available
Subjective well-being (SWB) is positively related to prosocial giving and helping others, but so far, research has not explored the association of individual aspects of well-being with prosocial behavior across the world. We used a representative sample from the Gallup World Poll across 163 countries from 2006 to 2017 to explore the relationship be...
Article
We tested the generality of stress’s association with lower subjective well-being in a large-scale, representative sample. We found that stress is associated with all three major forms of subjective well-being – life satisfaction, positive feelings, and low negative feelings – around the world. However, the associations were stronger with positive...
Chapter
The interest in the field of subjective well-being has dramatically increased in recent decades. There has been a burst of interest in what makes, keeps, and detracts us from being happy (see the comprehensive Nobascholar.com for further reading). However, the concept of subjective well-being extends being simple happiness and refers to how people...
Article
There is robust evidence that higher income makes people evaluate their lives more favorably, but there is no consistent evidence on whether it makes people feel better. Analyzing data from five large surveys spanning 162 countries, we predicted and found the most comprehensive evidence to date that income reliably predicted greater positive self-r...
Article
We present norms for faculty citation counts based on 811 faculty members at 30 PhD-granting psychology departments in the United States across the range of the National Research Council rankings. The metrics were highly skewed, with most scientists having a low to moderate number of citations of their work and a few scientists having extremely hig...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research on well-being has exploded in recent years, with over 50,000 relevant publications each year, making it difficult for psychologists—including key communicators such as textbook authors—to stay current with this field. At the same time, well-being is a daily concern among policymakers and members of the general public. The topic is also ext...
Preprint
Full-text available
Subjective well-being (SWB) is positively related to helping others, but so far research has not explored the association of individual aspects of well-being with prosocial behavior across the world. We used a representative sample (N = 1,433,078) from the Gallup World Poll (GWP) to explore the relationship between each aspect of well-being and pro...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: Psychology is open to the charge of being Western-centric, with its understanding and conceptualisation of topics such as wellbeing influenced by the mainly-Western cultural contexts in which it has developed. As such, efforts are underway to explore and incorporate ideas and perspectives from non-Western cultures. Aims: One such effort...
Article
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Happier people are healthier, but does becoming happier lead to better health? In the current study, we deployed a comprehensive, 3-month positive psychological intervention as an experimental tool to examine the effects of increasing subjective well-being on physical health in a nonclinical population. In a 6-month randomized controlled trial with...
Article
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a novel intervention facilitating volunteer activity to improve well-being in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design: Randomized two-arm controlled trial, with a wait-list control condition (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT#01728350). Setting: Community-based setting. Participants: Seventy-four community-...
Article
Full-text available
The science of wellbeing has come a long way from the early days of measuring wellbeing via a nation’s GDP, and wellbeing measures and concepts continue to proliferate to capture its various elements. Yet, much of this activity has reflected concepts from Western cultures, despite the emphasis placed on wellbeing in all corners of the globe. To mee...
Article
Affect inductions have become essential for testing theories of affect and for conducting experimental research on the effects of mood and emotion. The current review takes stock of the vast body of existing literature on affect induction procedures (AIPs) to evaluate the effectiveness of affect inductions as research tools and to test theories of...
Article
Full-text available
Using representative cross-sections from 166 nations (>1.7 million respondents), we examined differences in three measures of subjective well-being over the lifespan. We found only very small differences in life satisfaction and negative affect, globally, and in the individual regions of the world. By contrast, decreases in positive affect were lar...
Article
Full-text available
Building from the growing empirical science of happiness, or subjective well-being (SWB), we have developed a 12-week comprehensive intervention program-Enduring Happiness and Continued Self-Enhancement (ENHANCE)-to increase SWB and enable a thorough examination of the mechanistic processes of program content and administrative structure for SWB ch...
Article
Positive organizational scholarship has led to a growing interest in the critical role of positive emotions for the lives of both workers and organizations. We review and integrate the different perspectives on positive emotions (i.e., positive valence, positive emotion regulation strategies, and positive adaptive function) and the four main mechan...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Happiness and health behavior are positively related, but most existing research does not distinguish between conceptually and empirically distinct components of subjective well-being-satisfaction with life, positive affect, and negative affect. Method: We assessed the associations of each component of subjective well-being and healt...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Although hospitality is a valued social and cultural phenomenon, it has been largely overlooked in the psychology research literature. Our studies are designed to advance the understanding of hospitality by creating a brief measure of it that can be used across cultures. In Study 1, we employed a large sample of Americans to create and be...
Article
Full-text available
Since ancient times, scholars, individuals, and societies have been preoccupied with the pursuit of happiness. But might individual happiness actually be bad for society and the world? A common concern – which we refer to as the Pollyanna hypothesis – is that happy people might be too happy to care enough about important current issues, thus being...
Article
Full-text available
Dinin bireylerin ve toplumların öznel iyi oluşunu (ÖİO) artırıp artırmadığı sıkça tartışılmaktadırlar. İnsanların büyük bir çoğunluğunun dinin günlük yaşamlarında önemli olduğunu belirttiği dikkate alındığında bu konu özellikle göze çarpmaktadır. Ancak, bazı evrimciler dinin uyum sağladığı, ahlak ve sosyal uyumu beslediği, her ikisinin de iyi oluşu...
Article
This article compares a general cross-lagged model (GCLM) to other panel data methods based on their coherence with a causal logic and pragmatic concerns regarding modeled dynamics and hypothesis testing. We examine three "static" models that do not incorporate temporal dynamics: random-and fixed-effects models that estimate contemporaneous relatio...
Article
This is the first paper in a series of two that synthesizes, compares, and extends methods for causal inference with longitudinal panel data in a structural equation modeling (SEM) framework. Starting with a cross-lagged approach, this paper builds a general cross-lagged panel model (GCLM) with parameters to account for stable factors while increas...
Article
This study assessed early adolescent positive and negative affect as long-term predictors of romantic conflict, anxious and avoidant attachment, romantic and social competence, and relationship satisfaction in adulthood utilizing a longitudinal, multi-informant study of 166 participants assessed annually at ages 14–17, and again at ages 23–25. Posi...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: We provide a comprehensive review of the field of subjective well-being in terms of its societal and individual benefits, demographic correlates, theories of origin, and relationship to culture. Interventions to increase well-being are also presented as well as the argument that national accounts of well-being for public policy should be...
Article
Although the association between individualism and satisfaction in societies is well documented, the precise mechanism linking these two remained understudied so far. Here we coin and describe the specific facet of individualism responsible for the above association–the ‘open society’. Open societies foster four others-benefitting attitudes: tolera...
Article
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 satisfaction were associated with po...
Article
Subjective well-being (SWB) research is characterized by many large samples, which often results in virtually all variables being significantly related to well-being, even if the associations are small. In this article we explore the strengths of associations between various predictors and SWB outcomes. In addition to standard effect-size statistic...
Article
Full-text available
Subjective well-being (SWB) is an extremely active area of research with about 170,000 articles and books published on the topic in the past 15 years. Methodological and theoretical advances have been notable in this period of time, with the increasing use of longitudinal and experimental designs allowing for a greater understanding of the predicto...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although both online and in-person positive psychology interventions (PPIs) exist, no randomized controlled trials (RCT)-the gold standard in intervention research-have compared the effectiveness of these formats. We created a 12-week skills-based PPI (ENHANCE), organized into three target area: the core self (e.g., values, strengths), the experien...
Article
Full-text available
Emotional well-being is particularly important in teenagers and young adults. Childhood and adolescence provide opportunities to develop the foundations for mental health and the school is an important mean that can enable it. It seems important to examine the evolution and differences in positive and negative emotions and experiences in adolescent...
Article
Are people who spend more time with others always happier than those who spend less time in social activities? Across four studies with more than 250,000 participants, we show that social time has declining marginal utility for subjective well-being. In Study 1 (N = 243,075), we use the Gallup World Poll with people from 166 countries, and in Study...
Article
In our 1996 article, “Most People are Happy,” we presented evidence showing that the majority of humans are above neutral in happiness. The article was popular perhaps for several reasons. First, we shed light on the ubiquity of positive or pleasant emotions, whereas previously many scholars had focused on negative or unpleasant ones. Second, our a...
Article
In our 2004 “Beyond Money” article, we argued that national accounts of psychological and subjective well-being should complement the economic indicators that frequently guide policy decisions. We claimed that economic indicators fail to reflect important aspects of quality of life that well-being indicators capture. Since the time of our article,...
Article
We review the history of happiness research that gave rise to our 1995 review. We then summarize—and update with a quick synopsis of more recent research—each of our conclusions regarding the associations of subjective well-being with age, gender, income, personal traits, social support, and religious engagement. Finally, we briefly review new rese...
Article
In a past Psychological Science article, Diener and Seligman (2002) explored the characteristics of extremely happy individuals and found that strong social relationships characterized the entire group. The study was popular, perhaps because the authors focused on the very happiest people, not merely on correlations across the entire spectrum of su...
Article
The empirical science of subjective well-being, popularly referred to as happiness or satisfaction, has grown enormously in the past decade. In this Review, we selectively highlight and summarize key researched areas that continue to develop. We describe the validity of measures and their potential biases, as well as the scientific methods used in...
Article
Background: The present study explored the potential for internet search data to serve as indicators of subjective well-being (SWB) and predictors of health at the state and metro area levels. We propose that searches for positive and negative affect-related terms represent information-seeking behavior of individuals who are experiencing emotions...
Book
Full-text available
It is a pleasure to bring to you the eHandbook of Subjective Well-Being, the science of when and why people experience and evaluate their lives in positive ways, including aspects such as positive feelings, life satisfaction, and optimism. There are chapters in this eHandbook on the philosophy and history of well-being, as well as reviews of empiri...
Article
Using the Gallup World Poll data, we examined whether national income inequality moderated the effects of affluence on individual subjective well-being (SWB). Multilevel analyses found that people reported higher life evaluation in years when their nation had higher GDP. Between-nation effects showed that people in wealthier nations reported greate...
Article
Full-text available
Income is known to be associated with happiness, but debates persist about the exact nature of this relationship. Does happiness rise indefinitely with income, or is there a point at which higher incomes no longer lead to greater well-being? We examine this question using data from the Gallup World Poll, a representative sample of over 1.7 million...
Chapter
Full-text available
Choosing the right journal to submit your paper to for publication is often challenging, and involves a variety of factors. In this chapter, we discuss factors you need to consider in selecting the best publication outlet for your submission including the fit of the article to the journal, the reputation of the journal, the journal readership, and...
Article
Well-being has been strongly linked to many important life facets ranging from physical and mental health to social relationships to academic and work performance. Not only has it been associated with many beneficial outcomes across these realms, but it has also been demonstrated to predict positive changes in these key areas of functioning. In thi...
Article
Full-text available
We review evidence on whether subjective well-being (SWB) can influence health, why it might do so, and what we know about the conditions where this is more or less likely to occur. This review also explores how various methodological approaches inform the study of the connections between subjective well-being and health and longevity outcomes. Our...
Article
The peer review and journal system have shortcomings, and both computers and the Internet have made complementary or alternative systems attractive. In this article, I recommend that we implement a new platform for open communication of psychological science on a dedicated website to complement the current review and journal system, with reader rev...
Article
Cet article présente une synthèse des recherches sur le bonheur relativement aux politiques publiques et démontre que le bonheur autorapporté peut être utilisé pour évaluer ces politiques. Le bien-être déclaré traduit plutôt bien les conditions sociales et économiques objectives et permet de quantifier la souffrance des gens. Des résultats démontre...
Chapter
Full-text available
Aside from being expensive, traditional textbooks are also rigidly structured, environmentally unfriendly, and unnecessarily long. As a result, although most open textbook projects attempt to produce an openly licensed version of a resource that most faculty will find familiar, authors Ed Diener, Carol Diener, and Robert Biswas-Diener—all affiliate...
Article
Background: Positive psychological health is a multifaceted construct and fundamental to individuals' overall mental health. Yet, measures of positive psychological health tend to focus on only a few of these facets. Su, Tay, and Diener () sought to address this by creating the Comprehensive and Brief Inventories of Thriving (CIT/BIT), integrative...
Article
Individuals who are higher in subjective well-being not only feel happier, they are more likely have fulfilling relationships, increased work performance and income, better physical health, and longer lives. Over the past several decades, the science of subjective well-being has produced insights into these benefits of happiness, and—recognizing th...
Article
Full-text available
There is evidence, spanning many decades of research, that the subjective well-being (SWB) of workers, including life satisfaction, job satisfaction, and positive affect, positively correlates with the performance of workers and organizations. However, the size of the relationships is typically small to moderate. In this review we address the quest...
Article
Our procedures for creating excellent departments of psychology are based largely on selection—hiring and promoting the best people. I argue that these procedures have been successful, but I suggest the implementation of policies that I believe will further improve departments in the behavioral and brain sciences. I recommend that we institute more...
Article
Full-text available
Recent decades have seen rapid growth in the science of subjective well-being (SWB), with 14,000 publications a year now broaching the topic. The insights of this growing scholarly literature can be helpful to psychologists working both in research and applied areas. We describe five sets of recent findings on SWB: (1) the multidimensionality of SW...
Article
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Background: Subjective well-being as a predictor for later behavior and health has highlighted its relationship to health, work performance, and social relationships. However, the majority of such studies neglect the developmental nature of well-being in contributing to important changes across the transition to adulthood. Methods: To examine th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Researchers and policy makers have become increasingly interested in using happiness or subjective wellbeing (SWB) as an index of quality of life. We examine the utility of using SWB as a social indicator, arguing that SWB is intrinsically valuable as a measure of the end goal of all human activities and extrinsically valuable as a predictor of a w...
Article
Full-text available
Gross National Happiness (GNH) is often recommended as a new approach to assessing economic and social development, and the small nation of Bhutan has become known for advocating this measure of quality of life. Little has been published on actual wellbeing outcomes of GNH policy in Bhutan. The current study uses a demographically representative sa...
Article
Full-text available
Diener (2000) proposed that National Accounts of Well-Being be created to complement existing economic and social indicators that reflect the quality of life in nations. These national accounts can provide valuable information to policymakers and other leaders. Systematic measurement of subjective well-being provides novel information about the qua...
Article
We present data on well-being and quality of life in the world, including material quality of life such as not going hungry, physical health quality of life such as longevity, social quality of life such as social support, environmental health such as clean water, equality in income and life satisfaction, and levels of subjective well-being (SWB)....
Chapter
The chapters of this volume show conclusively that adaptation is often only partial and that people can and do change in their levels of subjective well-being. Although the idea of a set point and homeostatic mechanisms to return a person to baseline have some validity, this book clearly indicates that baselines can and do change, and occasionally...
Article
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This article summarizes policy-relevant happiness research and demonstrates that self-reported happiness could be used to evaluate public policies. Self-reported well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, happiness) tracks objective societal and economic conditions fairly well (e.g., the financial crisis of 2008) and helps quantify people’s suffering (e....
Article
Evidence shows that people feel mild positive moods when no strong emotional events are occurring, a phenomenon known as positive mood offset. We offer an evolutionary explanation of this characteristic, showing that it improves fertility, fecundity, and health, and abets other characteristics that were critical to reproductive success. We review r...
Article
The relationship between demographic factors and worker well-being has garnered increased attention, but empirical studies have shown to inconsistent results. This chapter addresses this issue by examining how age, gender, and race/ethnicity relate to worker well-being using large, representative samples. Data from the Gallup Healthways Index and G...
Article
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We systematically identified eminent psychologists, first using 6 sources to create an initial list of 348 eminent psychologists, and then using 3 criteria (citation metrics, textbook page coverage, and major awards) to select the most highly recognized psychologists. The rankings we produced corresponded highly with other indicators of eminence, a...
Article
This study explored the importance of financial satisfaction versus postmaterialist needs for subjective well-being (SWB). Using the Gallup World Poll, we examined whether financial satisfaction and postmaterialist needs (pertaining to autonomy, social support, and respect) were universal predictors of the different components of SWB across the wor...
Article
Both corruption and subjective well-being (SWB) are of concern to academics, governments, and policy makers. Although intuition suggests that corruption deteriorates SWB, some evidence suggests that corruption can enhance the economy, which may in turn improve SWB. We seek to explore whether, how, and when corruption is related to SWB using represe...
Article
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In this article we present the development and validation of two new measures of psychological well-being: Comprehensive Inventory of Thriving (CIT) and Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT). These measures were developed with two specific goals in mind: (1) to measure a broad range of psychological well-being constructs and represent a holistic view o...
Article
This study examines whether national income can have effects on happiness over and above personal income. To assess the incremental effects of national income on happiness, cross-sectional multilevel analysis was conducted on 838,151 individuals across 158 nations. Although personal income was consistently related to higher SWB, we find that nation...
Article
Full-text available
Leisure is a key life domain and a core ingredient for overall well-being. Yet, within positive psychology, its definition and the psychological pathways by which it evokes happiness are elusive (Diener and Biswas-Diener 2008). In this paper, we seek to address these issues by delineating leisure and presenting a conceptual framework linking leisur...
Chapter
Full-text available
To what extent does religiosity relate to subjective well-being (SWB) across the world? We review empirical evidence from both Western and non-Western nations and it points to a pan-cultural positive relation between religiosity and SWB. Using a multilevel perspective, we propose psychological and social mechanisms for this process: at the individu...