How the economic crisis affects well-being

Dow Jones Sinks

Dow Jones Sinks

In this month’s posting for Positive Psychology News Daily, I reviewed some brand new research from Professor Carol Graham, Soumya Chattopadhyay, and Mario Picon (all from the University of Maryland). Their objective was to better understand the effects of the US economic crisis on well-being and to determine if individuals adapt both to the bad news of the crisis and then to the good news of potential recovery.

Looking across time during the crisis, not surprisingly happiness levels decreased markedly at the start of the crisis, reaching their lowest levels early in 2009. They then followed an equally marked upward trend after April 2009. During the downward trend, happiness levels lag the stock market spikes, which makes intuitive sense.

But the most striking result is that happiness levels lead the stock market on the upward trend. What’s more, by July 2009 happiness levels were above those at the start of the crisis, even though the Dow Jones was only just starting to recover, having hit rock bottom.

For the full posting and to read all the comments, see Positive Psychology News Daily.

Image  courtesy of Scorpions and Centaurs

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