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. 2005 Nov;131(6):803-55.
doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803.

The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?

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The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?

Sonja Lyubomirsky et al. Psychol Bull. .
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Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. The authors suggest a conceptual model to account for these findings, arguing that the happiness-success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success. Three classes of evidence--crosssectional, longitudinal, and experimental--are documented to test their model. Relevant studies are described and their effect sizes combined meta-analytically. The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that positive affect--the hallmark of well-being--may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness. Limitations, empirical issues, and important future research questions are discussed.

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