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The meaning of happiness: attention and time perception


  • Viviana Giovinazzo

    () (Università di Milano Bicocca)

  • Marco Novarese

    () (Università del Piemonte Orientale)


Abstract This paper experimentally studies the relationship between happiness, attention and time perception. The experimental results challenge the prevailing results in the economic and psychological literature. A Go/No-Go test reveals a clear negative correlation between happiness and attention: the subject who is happier is also more inattentive, probably because of his or her state of lightheartedness, a state of mind that seems to negatively affect performance. Furthermore, the fact that happier subjects evaluate the passage of time with different objective and subjective measures opens up paths of further research in assessing a new feature of happiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Viviana Giovinazzo & Marco Novarese, 2016. "The meaning of happiness: attention and time perception," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 15(2), pages 207-218, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minsoc:v:15:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s11299-015-0180-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11299-015-0180-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oecd, 2011. "Country review: Ukraine," OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy, OECD Publishing, vol. 11(2), pages 153-222.
    2. Vicki Freedman & Frederick Conrad & Jennifer Cornman & Norbert Schwarz & Frank Stafford, 2014. "Does Time Fly When You are Having Fun? A Day Reconstruction Method Analysis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 639-655, June.
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    More about this item


    Happiness; Attention; Time perception; Go/No-Go test; Anxiety;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles


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