Happy All the Time? Affect, Resources, and Time Use

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When examined at the level of activities, people spend more time in activities associated with more negative affect (NA), suggesting that affect may not influence time use. However, when the normal time frames of activities such as work or eating are considered, people may spend relatively more time in activities they find more enjoyable. The present study examined time use between and within activities, using multilevel models, to further explain time use. Working women (N = 98) reported on time use, affect, and resources associated with 18 different activities using the day reconstruction method. Across activities, higher NA was associated with more time spent in that activity, an effect driven partially by work. However, within activities, higher NA but especially higher positive affect and more resource growth was associated with more time spent in that activity by a particular woman. Individuals who derive more affective and resource value from an activity devote more time to it.

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