Title: The end of happiness: temporal distance and judgments of life satisfaction in Sweden, Iran, Spain, and El Salvador
Authors: Danilo Garcia; Bibinaz Ghiabi; Ali Al Nima; Trevor Archer
Addresses: Network for Empowerment and Well-being, Axel W. Anderssons Väg 8A, SE 371 62 Lyckeby, Sweden; Blekinge Centre of Competence, Vårdskolevägen 5, SE 371 81 Karlskrona, Sweden; Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health (CELAM), University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Rågården, Hus 1, SU-Östra sjukhuset, SE 416 85, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Network for Empowerment and Well-being, University of Gothenburg, Box 500, SE 405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Network for Empowerment and Well-being, University of Gothenburg, Box 500, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Box 500, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden; Network for Empowerment and Well-being, University of Gothenburg, Box 500, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Abstract: The aim was to investigate the effect of temporal distance on judgments of life satisfaction, which is a well-being construct strongly influenced by personality and based on memory of past events. Participants (N = 529) from Sweden, Iran, Spain, and El Salvador were randomly asked for judgments of life satisfaction in the present, the near-future (one week) or the distant-future (ten years). The main findings were that life satisfaction was judged higher in the present than in both the near and distant future, while no differences were found between near- and distant-future life satisfaction. The findings suggest an 'end of happiness' phenomenon, that is, we seem to believe that the present is the happiest moment of our lives.
Keywords: construal level theory; CLT; constructive episodic simulation hypothesis; end of history illusion; happiness; life satisfaction; temporal distance; Sweden; Iran; Spain; El Salvador; personality; memory; present; near future; distant future.
International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2015 Vol.2 No.4, pp.371 - 382
Received: 10 Jun 2015
Accepted: 17 Aug 2015
Published online: 30 Dec 2015 *