Getting the Most out of Giving: Pursuing Concretely-Framed Prosocial Goals Maximizes Happiness
Across six field and laboratory experiments, participants given a concretely-framed prosocial goal (e.g., making someone smile, increasing recycling) felt happier after performing a goal-directed act of kindness than did those who were assigned a functionally similar, but more abstractly-framed, prosocial goal (e.g., making someone happy, saving the environment). This effect was driven by differences in the size of the gap between participants' expectations and reality: Compared to those assigned to pursue an abstractly-framed prosocial goal, those assigned to pursue a concretely-framed goal perceived that the actual outcome of their goal-directed efforts more accurately matched their expectations, causing them to experience a greater boost in personal happiness. Further, participants were unable to predict this effect, believing that pursuing abstractly-framed prosocial goals would have either an equal or greater positive impact on their own happiness.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015|
Phone: (650) 723-2146
Web page: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kennon Sheldon & Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2006. "Achieving Sustainable Gains in Happiness: Change Your Actions, not Your Circumstances," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 55-86, 03.
- Alex Michalos, 1980. "Satisfaction and happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 385-422, December.
- Alex Michalos, 1985. "Multiple discrepancies theory (MDT)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 347-413, May.
- R. Vermunt & E. Spaans & F. Zorge, 1989. "Satisfaction, happiness and well-being of Dutch students," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-33, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2129. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.