People in historically rice-farming areas are less happy and socially compare more than people in wheat-farming areas.

Using two nationally representative surveys, we find that people in China’s historically rice-farming areas are less happy than people in wheat areas. This is a puzzle because the rice area is more interdependent, and relationships are an important predictor of happiness. We explore how the interdependence of historical rice farming may have paradoxically undermined happiness by creating more social comparison than wheat farming. We build a framework in which rice farming leads to social comparison, which makes people unhappy (especially people who are worse off). If people in rice areas socially compare more, then people’s happiness in rice areas should be more closely related to markers of social status like income. In two studies, national survey data show that income, self-reported social status, and occupational status predict people’s happiness twice as strongly in rice areas than wheat areas. In Study 3, we use a unique natural experiment comparing two nearby state farms that effectively randomly assigned people to farm rice or wheat. The rice farmers socially compare more, and farmers who socially compare more are less happy. If interdependence breeds social comparison and erodes happiness, it could help explain the paradox of why the interdependent cultures of East Asia are less happy than similarly wealthy cultures. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

The role of positive relationship events in romantic attachment avoidance.

Motivated by the Attachment Security Enhancement Model (Arriaga et al., 2018), the present research investigated the associations between positive relationship experiences and romantic attachment avoidance in three dyadic studies that combined multiple methods, including daily diaries, laboratory observations, and longitudinal follow-ups. Frequency of daily positive relationship events (but not external positive events) during a 21-day diary period predicted declines in romantic attachment avoidance (but not anxiety) from pre- to post-diary in fledgling couples (Study 1) and newlyweds (Study 2). Video-recorded discussions of fledgling couples’ shared positive experiences revealed that behaviors validating the relationship (but not simply showing conversational interest) predicted lagged declines in romantic attachment avoidance (but not anxiety) over 1 month (Study 3). The associations were mediated by positive affect during the diary period in Studies 1 and 2, and by changes in positive affect from pre- to post-discussion in Study 3. Positive relationship experiences did not significantly interact with time in predicting romantic avoidance over a 1-year follow-up with quarterly assessments of attachment orientations in Study 1, over an 8-month follow-up with monthly assessments in Study 2, or over a 2-month follow-up with monthly assessments in Study 3. Altogether, these studies provide one of the most comprehensive tests of how positive relationship experiences in nondistressing contexts are linked to romantic attachment. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

Take it from the experts, a pet can change your life

Click here for the article published by Harvard Gazette Health. Some people should not have pets. They’re expensive and can make you sneeze. They require time, attention, and stability. If you have allergies, don’t make yourself suffer. If you travel frequently, think twice. If you simply can’t warm to the idea of an animal companion, …

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Thomas Jefferson Was Right: Happiness Comes First

Click here for the article published by Psychology Today. Take it from Thomas Jefferson and recent psychology studies: Taking part in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people can make you happier. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your …

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Anomie, irritation, and happiness in the Chilean society post-social outbreak

On 18 October 2019, the Chilean people witnessed an unprecedented social outbreak across most of their country. We argue that a state of anomie is a factor associated with the weakening of states, and an anomic state might negatively influence people’s well-being through an increased feeling of irritation. Convenience recruitment via social networks allowed us to form a sample of 194 Chilean participants from the center-south region of the country (M = 36.53 years old, SD = 17.48; 56.7% women). All participants completed testing instruments to measure anomie, irritation, happiness, and political beliefs. Descriptive scores suggest situating Chile in the quadrant of high anomie. Two mediation analyses were conducted. The main results showed a negative indirect effect of the breakdown of the social fabric and leadership on happiness through irritation, although the findings for the former dimension were more robust. Additionally, the breakdown of the social fabric was positively related to the belief that left and right-wing democratic governments are helpless when it comes to fighting delinquency. The breakdown of leadership, on the other hand, was negatively related to political interest. The results should be interpreted with caution due to the limitations of the sample type and the construction validity of some instruments.

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