The Effect of Mood on Judgments of Subjective Well-Being: Nine Tests of the Judgment Model

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Life satisfaction judgments are thought to represent an overall evaluation of the quality of a person’s life as a whole. Thus, they should reflect relatively important and stable characteristics of that person’s life. Previous highly cited research has suggested that transient factors, such as the mood that a person experiences at the time that well-being judgments are made, can influence these judgments. However, most existing studies used small sample sizes, and few replications have been attempted. Nine direct and conceptual replications of past studies testing the effects of mood on life satisfaction judgments were conducted using sample sizes that were considerably larger than previous studies (Ns = 202, 200, 269, 118, 320, 401, 285, 129, 122). Most of the 9 studies resulted in nonsignificant effects on life satisfaction and happiness judgments, and those that were significant were substantially smaller than effects found in previous research.

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