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Maintaining life satisfaction: the role of positive cognitive bias

Cummins, Robert and Nistico, Helen 2002, Maintaining life satisfaction: the role of positive cognitive bias, Journal of happiness studies: an interdisciplinary forum on subjective well-being, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 37-69, doi: 10.1023/A:1015678915305.

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Title Maintaining life satisfaction: the role of positive cognitive bias
Author(s) Cummins, Robert
Nistico, Helen
Journal name Journal of happiness studies: an interdisciplinary forum on subjective well-being
Volume number 3
Issue number 1
Start page 37
End page 69
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers Group
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publication date 2002-03
ISSN 1389-4978
1573-7780
Keyword(s) life satisfaction
homeostasis
illusions
positive cognitive bias
self-esteem
control
optimism
Summary Recent research into population standards of life satisfaction has revealed a remarkable level of uniformity, with the mean values for Western populations clustering at around three-quarters of the measurement scale maximum. While this seems to suggest the presence of a homeostatic mechanism for life satisfaction, the character of such a hypothetical device is uncertain. This paper proposes that well-being homeostasis is controlled by positive cognitive biases pertaining to the self. Most particular in this regard are the positive biases in relation to self-esteem, control and optimism. Past controversies in relation to this proposition are reviewed and resolved in favour of the proposed mechanism. The empirical data to support this hypothesis are discussed in the context of perceived well-being as an adaptive human attribute.
Language eng
DOI 10.1023/A:1015678915305
Field of Research 170113 Social and Community Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, Kluwer Academic Publishers Group
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001626

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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