There is an ongoing debate as to whether pursuing happiness is beneficial for people’s subjective well-being (SWB). To address this question, we tested whether attention to SWB – measured by participation in SWB surveys – is related to experienced SWB in two longitudinal studies. The initial study was conducted from November to December 2013 (N = 129), and the replication study, three years later from November to December 2016 (N = 120). The studies include two groups: one group (the control group) answered three SWB surveys over 4 weeks, and the other group (the experimental group) followed the same procedure but additionally tracked their SWB in detail using the experience sampling method four times a day and the day reconstruction method once a day using a smartphone application for two weeks to heighten their attention to their SWB. Both studies show higher SWB scores at later measurements compared to the first ones.

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Keywords Attention, Day Reconstruction Method (DRM), Experience Sampling Method (ESM), Mobile Application, Subjective Well-Being (SWB)
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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Applied Research in Quality of Life
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Ludwigs, K, Lucas, R. (Richard), Burger, M. (Martijn), Veenhoven, R, & Arends, L.R. (2017). How Does More Attention to Subjective Well-Being Affect Subjective Well-Being?. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1–26. doi:10.1007/s11482-017-9575-y