Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 31–45 | Cite as

The Relationships Between Life Satisfaction, Happiness, and Current Mood

  • Amelie GambleEmail author
  • Tommy Gärling


The present research proposes and tests a conceptualization of happiness as a situation-dependent evaluation of hedonic experiences, specifically the valence and activation of current mood, as well as being related to cognitive judgments of life satisfaction. In Experiment 1 86 undergraduates rated their life satisfaction (five scales forming the Satisfaction With Life Scale), happiness on five rating scales, and valence and activation of current mood, each on three rating scales, before and after attending a lecture. The results showed that happiness was related to life satisfaction mediated by valence of current mood. The change in happiness from before to after attending the lecture was only influenced by the change in valence of the current mood. In Experiment 2 which used scenarios to induce valence and activation of current mood in four randomized groups with a total of 135 undergraduates, happiness was related to preference for current mood rated on three scales which in turn was directly affected by both the valence and activation induction. Valence was in the mood-induction scenarios related to the expected rate of goal pursuit and activation to incidental events. Experiment 3 demonstrated for another 59 undergraduates that happiness stayed related to preference for a positive mood despite that its relation to a positive mood was reversed in an incongruent situation.


Happiness Life satisfaction Current mood 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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