Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 1055–1080 | Cite as

How Does More Attention to Subjective Well-Being Affect Subjective Well-Being?

  • Kai LudwigsEmail author
  • Richard Lucas
  • Martijn Burger
  • Ruut Veenhoven
  • Lidia Arends


There is an ongoing debate as to whether pursuing happiness is beneficial for people’s subjective well-being (SWB). To address this question, we tested whether attention to SWB – measured by participation in SWB surveys – is related to experienced SWB in two longitudinal studies. The initial study was conducted from November to December 2013 (N = 129), and the replication study, three years later from November to December 2016 (N = 120). The studies include two groups: one group (the control group) answered three SWB surveys over 4 weeks, and the other group (the experimental group) followed the same procedure but additionally tracked their SWB in detail using the experience sampling method four times a day and the day reconstruction method once a day using a smartphone application for two weeks to heighten their attention to their SWB. Both studies show higher SWB scores at later measurements compared to the first ones.


Attention Subjective Well-Being (SWB) Experience Sampling Method (ESM) Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) Mobile Application 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. Additionally, we declare that this research was conducted in line with the Declaration of Helsinki which explains all main rules for human research ethics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Happiness Research OrganisationDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamNetherlands

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