ResearchPad - happiness https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Cultural aging stereotypes in European Countries: Are they a risk to Active Aging?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14695 A growing body of literature acknowledges the association between negative stereotypes and individual components of active aging, but very few studies have tested this association, at both individual and population levels. The Stereotypes Content Model (SCM) states that the cultural aging stereotyping of higher warmth than competence (called paternalistic or ambivalent prejudice) is universal. Our aims in this study are to test the extent to which the universality of this stereotype is confirmed in European Countries as well as how far "positive", "negative" or "ambivalent" views towards older people, and other negative attitudes such as prejudice and behaviours such as discrimination, predict active aging assessed both at individual and population levels. We have analyzed data from the European Social Survey-2008 (ESS-2008), containing SCM stereotypical and other appraisal items (such as direct prejudice and perceived discrimination) about adults aged over-70 from 29 European countries. First, SCM cultural stereotypes about older adults (“friendly”, “competent”, and “ambivalent”) were calculated; secondly, after developing a typology of countries based on their “negative”, “ambivalent” and “positive” views about older adults, the universality of cultural stereotypes was tested; thirdly, taking into consideration ESS data of those older persons (over 70s) who self-reported indicators of active aging (health, happiness, satisfaction and social participation), multilevel analyses were performed, taking our inter-individual measure of active aging as dependent variable and our stereotypical classification (positive/negative/ambivalent), direct prejudice and perceived discrimination as predictors; finally, relationships between stereotypical and appraisal items on older adults were examined at population level with country data from Active Aging Indexes. Our results show cultural stereotypes about older people (more friendly than competent) are widespread in most European countries, and negative cultural views of older adults are negatively associated with active aging both at individual and population level, supporting that negative cultural views of older adults could be considered as a threat to active aging.

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<![CDATA[Tsinghua facial expression database – A database of facial expressions in Chinese young and older women and men: Development and validation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf679a1e8-67cb-47b3-95b4-f3d293b80761

Perception of facial identity and emotional expressions is fundamental to social interactions. Recently, interest in age associated changes in the processing of faces has grown rapidly. Due to the lack of older faces stimuli, most previous age-comparative studies only used young faces stimuli, which might cause own-age advantage. None of the existing Eastern face stimuli databases contain face images of different age groups (e.g. older adult faces). In this study, a database that comprises images of 110 Chinese young and older adults displaying eight facial emotional expressions (Neutral, Happiness, Anger, Disgust, Surprise, Fear, Content, and Sadness) was constructed. To validate this database, each image was rated on the basis of perceived facial expressions, perceived emotional intensity, and perceived age by two different age groups. Results have shown an overall 79.08% correct identification rate in the validation. Access to the freely available database can be requested by emailing the corresponding authors.

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<![CDATA[The costs of negative affect attributable to alcohol consumption in later life: A within-between random longitudinal econometric model using UK Biobank]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca2fd5eed0c48452a89b

Aims

Research demonstrates a negative relationship between alcohol use and affect, but the value of deprecation is unknown and thus cannot be included in estimates of the cost of alcohol to society. This paper aims to examine this relationship and develop econometric techniques to value the loss in affect attributable to alcohol consumption.

Methods

Cross-sectional (n = 129,437) and longitudinal (n = 11,352) analyses of alcohol consumers in UK Biobank data were undertaken, with depression and neuroticism as proxies of negative affect. The cross-sectional relationship between household income, negative affect and alcohol consumption were analysed using regression models, controlling for confounding variables, and using within-between random models that are robust to unobserved heterogeneity. The differential in household income required to offset alcohol’s detriment to affect was derived.

Results

A consistent relationship between depression and alcohol consumption (β = 0.001, z = 7.64) and neuroticism and alcohol consumption (β = 0.001, z = 9.24) was observed in cross-sectional analyses, replicated in within-between models (depression β = 0.001, z = 2.32; neuroticism β = 0.001, z = 2.33). Significant associations were found between household income and depression (cross sectional β = -0.157, z = -23.86, within-between β = -0.146, z = -9.51) and household income and neuroticism (cross sectional β = -0.166, z = -32.02, within-between β = -0.158, z = -7.44). The value of reducing alcohol consumption by one gram/day was pooled and estimated to be £209.06 (95% CI £171.84 to £246.27).

Conclusions

There was a robust relationship between alcohol consumption and negative affect. Econometric methods can value the intangible effects of alcohol use and may, therefore, facilitate the fiscal determination of benefit.

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<![CDATA[Social dynamics modeling of chrono-nutrition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52b1d5eed0c4842bce5a

Gut microbiota and human relationships are strictly connected to each other. What we eat reflects our body-mind connection and synchronizes with people around us. However, how this impacts on gut microbiota and, conversely, how gut bacteria influence our dietary behaviors has not been explored yet. To quantify the complex dynamics of this interplay between gut and human behaviors we explore the “gut-human behavior axis” and its evolutionary dynamics in a real-world scenario represented by the social multiplex network. We consider a dual type of similarity, homophily and gut similarity, other than psychological and unconscious biases. We analyze the dynamics of social and gut microbial communities, quantifying the impact of human behaviors on diets and gut microbial composition and, backwards, through a control mechanism. Meal timing mechanisms and “chrono-nutrition” play a crucial role in feeding behaviors, along with the quality and quantity of food intake. Considering a population of shift workers, we explore the dynamic interplay between their eating behaviors and gut microbiota, modeling the social dynamics of chrono-nutrition in a multiplex network. Our findings allow us to quantify the relation between human behaviors and gut microbiota through the methodological introduction of gut metabolic modeling and statistical estimators, able to capture their dynamic interplay. Moreover, we find that the timing of gut microbial communities is slower than social interactions and shift-working, and the impact of shift-working on the dynamics of chrono-nutrition is a fluctuation of strategies with a major propensity for defection (e.g. high-fat meals). A deeper understanding of the relation between gut microbiota and the dietary behavioral patterns, by embedding also the related social aspects, allows improving the overall knowledge about metabolic models and their implications for human health, opening the possibility to design promising social therapeutic dietary interventions.

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<![CDATA[Using computer-vision and machine learning to automate facial coding of positive and negative affect intensity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633970d5eed0c484ae6711

Facial expressions are fundamental to interpersonal communication, including social interaction, and allow people of different ages, cultures, and languages to quickly and reliably convey emotional information. Historically, facial expression research has followed from discrete emotion theories, which posit a limited number of distinct affective states that are represented with specific patterns of facial action. Much less work has focused on dimensional features of emotion, particularly positive and negative affect intensity. This is likely, in part, because achieving inter-rater reliability for facial action and affect intensity ratings is painstaking and labor-intensive. We use computer-vision and machine learning (CVML) to identify patterns of facial actions in 4,648 video recordings of 125 human participants, which show strong correspondences to positive and negative affect intensity ratings obtained from highly trained coders. Our results show that CVML can both (1) determine the importance of different facial actions that human coders use to derive positive and negative affective ratings when combined with interpretable machine learning methods, and (2) efficiently automate positive and negative affect intensity coding on large facial expression databases. Further, we show that CVML can be applied to individual human judges to infer which facial actions they use to generate perceptual emotion ratings from facial expressions.

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<![CDATA[Compassionate faces: Evidence for distinctive facial expressions associated with specific prosocial motivations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217edd5eed0c484795a2a

Compassion is a complex cognitive, emotional and behavioural process that has important real-world consequences for the self and others. Considering this, it is important to understand how compassion is communicated. The current research investigated the expression and perception of compassion via the face. We generated exemplar images of two compassionate facial expressions induced from two mental imagery tasks with different compassionate motivations (Study 1). Our kind- and empathic compassion faces were perceived differently and the empathic-compassion expression was perceived as best depicting the general definition of compassion (Study 2). Our two composite faces differed in their perceived happiness, kindness, sadness, fear and concern, which speak to their underling motivation and emotional resonance. Finally, both faces were accurately discriminated when presented along a compassion continuum (Study 3). Our results demonstrate two perceptually and functionally distinct facial expressions of compassion, with potentially different consequences for the suffering of others.

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<![CDATA[Network structure reveals patterns of legal complexity in human society: The case of the Constitutional legal network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217d6d5eed0c48479467c

Complexity in nature has been broadly found not only in physical and biological systems but also in social and economic systems. Although many studies have examined complex systems and helped us understand real-world complexity, the investigation to the legal complexity has not been thoroughly investigated. Here we introduce a novel approach to studying complex legal systems using complex network approaches. On the basis of the bipartite relations among Constitution articles and Court decisions, we built a complex legal network and found the system shows the heterogeneous structure as generally observed in many complex social systems. By treating legal networks as unique political regimes, we examine whether structural properties of the systems have been influenced as the society changes, or not. On one hand, there is a core structure in all legal networks regardless of any social circumstances. On the other hand, with relative comparison among different regimes’ networks, we could identify characteristic structural properties that reveal their identity. Our analysis would contribute to provide a better understanding of legal complexity and practical guidelines for use in various legal and social applications.

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<![CDATA[The keys to happiness: Associations between personal values regarding core life domains and happiness in South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5bbd5eed0c484ca7e6f

Personal values refer to the beliefs, principles or ideas that are important to people’s lives. We investigated the associations between personal values and happiness. We inquired about the importance of four different categories of personal values: prioritizing social relationships, extrinsic achievements, physical health, and spirituality. Data were drawn from the Korean General Social Survey (KGSS), a nationally representative cross-sectional sample collected over three years (i.e., 2007, 2008, and 2009). The findings showed that respondents prioritizing religion (i.e., spirituality) were the most likely to be happy, followed by those prioritizing social relationships, including family, friends, and neighbors. Those who prioritized extrinsic achievements (money, power, educational attainment, work, and leisure) as well as health were least likely to be happy. The findings suggest that pursuing goals focused on self-enhancement or self-centered value are less likely to result in happiness compared to pursuing alter-centered collective goals or self-transcendence/selflessness.

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<![CDATA[Are pension types associated with happiness in Japanese older people?: JAGES cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b0e53c5463d7e030321d2a1

Background

Although many previous studies have examined the determinants of happiness in older adults, few have investigated the association between pension types and happiness. When compared to other conventional socioeconomic indicators, pension types may be more indicative of long-term socioeconomic status as they can reflect a person’s job history over their life course. This study examined the association between pension types and happiness in Japanese older people.

Methods

Cross-sectional survey data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study were used to analyze the association between pension types and happiness. The study population comprised 120152 participants from 2013. We calculated the prevalence ratios of happiness for the different pension types using Poisson regression models that controlled for age, sex, marital status, equivalent income, wealth, education level, working status, occupation, depression, and social support.

Results

After controlling for socioeconomic indicators, the prevalence ratios (95% confidence intervals) of happiness for no pension benefits, low pension benefits, and moderate pension benefits relative to high pension benefits were 0.77 (0.73–0.81), 0.95 (0.94–0.97), and 0.98 (0.97–0.99), respectively. However, the inclusion of depression as a covariate weakened the association between pension types and happiness.

Conclusions

While pension types were associated with happiness after adjusting for other proxy measures of socioeconomic status, the association diminished following adjustment for depression. Pension types may provide rich information on socioeconomic status and depression throughout the course of life. In addition to conventional socioeconomic indicators, pension types should also be considered when assessing the determinants of happiness in older adults.

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<![CDATA[Your move: The effect of chess on mathematics test scores]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf776

We analyse the effect of substituting a weekly mathematics lesson in primary school grades 1–3 with a lesson in mathematics based on chess instruction. We use data from the City of Aarhus in Denmark, combining test score data with a comprehensive data set obtained from administrative registers. We use two different methodological approaches to identify and estimate treatment effects and we tend to find positive effects, indicating that knowledge acquired through chess play can be transferred to the domain of mathematics. We also find larger impacts for unhappy children and children who are bored in school, perhaps because chess instruction facilitates learning by providing an alternative approach to mathematics for these children. The results are encouraging and suggest that chess may be an important and effective tool for improving mathematical capacity in young students.

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<![CDATA[Does Marriage Make Us Healthier? Inter-Country Comparative Evidence from China, Japan, and Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0eab0ee8fa60bcb1a8

Objectives

This study focuses on East Asian countries and investigates the difference in the marriage premium on the health-marriage protection effect (MPE) between younger and older generations and the intra-couple education concordance effect (ECE) on the health of married individuals. This study used inter-country comparative data from China, Japan, and Korea.

Methods

This study focused on individuals (n = 7,938) in China, Japan, and Korea who were sampled from the 2010 East Asian Social Survey. To investigate MPE and ECE, four health indicators were utilized: a physical and mental components summary (PCS and MCS), self-rated health status (Dself), and happiness level (Dhappy). Ordinary least squares regression was conducted by country- and gender-specific subsamples.

Results

We found that the MPE on PCS, MCS, and Dself was more significant for the older generation than for the younger generation in both China and Japan, whereas the results were inconclusive in Korea. With regard to the ECE on happiness (Dhappy), for both men and women, couples tend to be happier when both the husband and the wife are well educated (“higher balanced marriage”) compared to couples with a lower level of educational achievement (“lower balanced marriage”). Significant benefits from a “higher balanced marriage” on MCS and Dself were observed for women only. In contrast, no statistically significant differences in health status were observed between “higher balanced marriage” couples and couples with different levels of educational achievements (“upward marriage” or “downward marriage”).

Conclusions

This study found that (1) the MPE was more significant for the older generation, and (2) the health gap, particularly the happiness gap, between higher- and lower-balanced married couples was significant. The inter-country comparative findings are useful to explain how the role of marriage (and therefore of family) on health has been diluted due to the progress of industrialization and modernization.

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<![CDATA[Computerised analysis of facial emotion expression in eating disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0281

Background

Problems with social-emotional processing are known to be an important contributor to the development and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). Diminished facial communication of emotion has been frequently reported in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN). Less is known about facial expressivity in bulimia nervosa (BN) and in people who have recovered from AN (RecAN). This study aimed to pilot the use of computerised facial expression analysis software to investigate emotion expression across the ED spectrum and recovery in a large sample of participants.

Method

297 participants with AN, BN, RecAN, and healthy controls were recruited. Participants watched film clips designed to elicit happy or sad emotions, and facial expressions were then analysed using FaceReader.

Results

The finding mirrored those from previous work showing that healthy control and RecAN participants expressed significantly more positive emotions during the positive clip compared to the AN group. There were no differences in emotion expression during the sad film clip.

Discussion

These findings support the use of computerised methods to analyse emotion expression in EDs. The findings also demonstrate that reduced positive emotion expression is likely to be associated with the acute stage of AN illness, with individuals with BN showing an intermediate profile.

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<![CDATA[Exposure to Poverty and Productivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8c1

We study whether exposure to poverty can induce affective states that decrease productivity. In a controlled laboratory setting, we find that subjects randomly assigned to a treatment, in which they view a video featuring individuals that live in extreme poverty, exhibit lower subsequent productivity compared to subjects assigned to a control treatment. Questionnaire responses, as well as facial recognition software, provide quantitative measures of the affective state evoked by the two treatments. Subjects exposed to images of poverty experience a more negative affective state than those in the control treatment. Further analysis shows that individuals in a more positive emotional state exhibit less of a treatment effect. Also, those who exhibit greater attentiveness upon viewing the poverty video are less productive. The results are consistent with the notion that exposure to poverty can induce a psychological state in individuals that adversely affects productivity.

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<![CDATA[Mapping the emotional face. How individual face parts contribute to successful emotion recognition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf778

Which facial features allow human observers to successfully recognize expressions of emotion? While the eyes and mouth have been frequently shown to be of high importance, research on facial action units has made more precise predictions about the areas involved in displaying each emotion. The present research investigated on a fine-grained level, which physical features are most relied on when decoding facial expressions. In the experiment, individual faces expressing the basic emotions according to Ekman were hidden behind a mask of 48 tiles, which was sequentially uncovered. Participants were instructed to stop the sequence as soon as they recognized the facial expression and assign it the correct label. For each part of the face, its contribution to successful recognition was computed, allowing to visualize the importance of different face areas for each expression. Overall, observers were mostly relying on the eye and mouth regions when successfully recognizing an emotion. Furthermore, the difference in the importance of eyes and mouth allowed to group the expressions in a continuous space, ranging from sadness and fear (reliance on the eyes) to disgust and happiness (mouth). The face parts with highest diagnostic value for expression identification were typically located in areas corresponding to action units from the facial action coding system. A similarity analysis of the usefulness of different face parts for expression recognition demonstrated that faces cluster according to the emotion they express, rather than by low-level physical features. Also, expressions relying more on the eyes or mouth region were in close proximity in the constructed similarity space. These analyses help to better understand how human observers process expressions of emotion, by delineating the mapping from facial features to psychological representation.

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<![CDATA[Free to help? An experiment on free will belief and altruism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbd40

How does belief in free will affect altruistic behavior? In an online experiment we undermine subjects’ belief in free will through a priming task. Subjects subsequently conduct a series of binary dictator games in which they can distribute money between themselves and a charity that supports low-income people in developing countries. In each decision task, subjects choose between two different distributions, one of which is more generous towards the charity. In contrast to previous experiments that report a negative effect of undermining free will on honest behavior and self-reported willingness to help, we find an insignificant average treatment effect. However, we do find that our treatment reduces charitable giving among non-religious subjects, but not among religious subjects. This could be explained by our finding that religious subjects associate more strongly with social norms that prescribe helping the poor, and might therefore be less sensitive to the effect of reduced belief in free will. Taken together, these findings indicate that the effects of free will belief on prosocial behavior are more nuanced than previously suggested.

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<![CDATA[Neuroticism Delays Detection of Facial Expressions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d1ab0ee8fa60b6442c

The rapid detection of emotional signals from facial expressions is fundamental for human social interaction. The personality factor of neuroticism modulates the processing of various types of emotional facial expressions; however, its effect on the detection of emotional facial expressions remains unclear. In this study, participants with high- and low-neuroticism scores performed a visual search task to detect normal expressions of anger and happiness, and their anti-expressions within a crowd of neutral expressions. Anti-expressions contained an amount of visual changes equivalent to those found in normal expressions compared to neutral expressions, but they were usually recognized as neutral expressions. Subjective emotional ratings in response to each facial expression stimulus were also obtained. Participants with high-neuroticism showed an overall delay in the detection of target facial expressions compared to participants with low-neuroticism. Additionally, the high-neuroticism group showed higher levels of arousal to facial expressions compared to the low-neuroticism group. These data suggest that neuroticism modulates the detection of emotional facial expressions in healthy participants; high levels of neuroticism delay overall detection of facial expressions and enhance emotional arousal in response to facial expressions.

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<![CDATA[Income and Subjective Well-Being: New Insights from Relatively Healthy American Women, Ages 49-79]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da77ab0ee8fa60b96f3f

The interests of economists, psychologists, social scientists and others on the relations of income, demographics, religion and subjective well-being, have generated a vast global literature. It is apparent that biomedical research has focused on white with men. The Women’s Health Initiative and Observational Study (WHI OS) was initiated in 1992. The OS represents the scientific need for social priorities to improve the health and welfare of women; it includes 93.676 relatively healthy postmenopausal women, 49 to 79, from diverse backgrounds. The objective of this study is to examine how lifestyle and other factors influence women’s health. Data from the WHI OS questionnaire were analyzed. Statistical methods included descriptive statistics square, correlations, linear regression and analyses of covariance (GLM). New findings and insights relate primarily to general health, religion, club attendance, and likelihood of depression. The most important predictor of excellent or very good health is quality of life and general health is a major predictor of quality of life. A great deal of strength and comfort from religion was reported by 62.98% of the women, with little variation by denomination. More from religion related to poorer health, and less likelihood of depression. Religion and lower income are in accord with of across country studies. Attendance at clubs was associated with religion and with all factors associated with religion, except income. Though general health and likelihood of depression are highly correlated, better health is associated with higher income; however, likelihood of depression is not associated with income—contrary to conventional wisdom about socioeconomic disparities and mental health. Subjective well-being variables, with the exception of quality of life, were not associated with income. Social networks—religion and clubs—among a diverse population, warrant further attention from economists, psychologists, sociologists, and others.

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<![CDATA[Analyzing Personal Happiness from Global Survey and Weather Data: A Geospatial Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da71ab0ee8fa60b94e49

Past studies have shown that personal subjective happiness is associated with various macro- and micro-level background factors, including environmental conditions, such as weather and the economic situation, and personal health behaviors, such as smoking and exercise. We contribute to this literature of happiness studies by using a geospatial approach to examine both macro and micro links to personal happiness. Our geospatial approach incorporates two major global datasets: representative national survey data from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) and corresponding world weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After processing and filtering 55,081 records of ISSP 2011 survey data from 32 countries, we extracted 5,420 records from China and 25,441 records from 28 other countries. Sensitivity analyses of different intervals for average weather variables showed that macro-level conditions, including temperature, wind speed, elevation, and GDP, are positively correlated with happiness. To distinguish the effects of weather conditions on happiness in different seasons, we also adopted climate zone and seasonal variables. The micro-level analysis indicated that better health status and eating more vegetables or fruits are highly associated with happiness. Never engaging in physical activity appears to make people less happy. The findings suggest that weather conditions, economic situations, and personal health behaviors are all correlated with levels of happiness.

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<![CDATA[Public Parks and Wellbeing in Urban Areas of the United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafaab0ee8fa60bc4627

Sustainable development efforts in urban areas often focus on understanding and managing factors that influence all aspects of health and wellbeing. Research has shown that public parks and green space provide a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits to urban residents, but few studies have examined the influence of parks on comprehensive measures of subjective wellbeing at the city level. Using 2014 data from 44 U.S. cities, we evaluated the relationship between urban park quantity, quality, and accessibility and aggregate self-reported scores on the Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index (WBI), which considers five different domains of wellbeing (e.g., physical, community, social, financial, and purpose). In addition to park-related variables, our best-fitting OLS regression models selected using an information theory approach controlled for a variety of other typical geographic and socio-demographic correlates of wellbeing. Park quantity (measured as the percentage of city area covered by public parks) was among the strongest predictors of overall wellbeing, and the strength of this relationship appeared to be driven by parks’ contributions to physical and community wellbeing. Park quality (measured as per capita spending on parks) and accessibility (measured as the overall percentage of a city’s population within ½ mile of parks) were also positively associated with wellbeing, though these relationships were not significant. Results suggest that expansive park networks are linked to multiple aspects of health and wellbeing in cities and positively impact urban quality of life.

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<![CDATA[Happier People Live More Active Lives: Using Smartphones to Link Happiness and Physical Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6ead2

Physical activity, both exercise and non-exercise, has far-reaching benefits to physical health. Although exercise has also been linked to psychological health (e.g., happiness), little research has examined physical activity more broadly, taking into account non-exercise activity as well as exercise. We examined the relationship between physical activity (measured broadly) and happiness using a smartphone application. This app has collected self-reports of happiness and physical activity from over ten thousand participants, while passively gathering information about physical activity from the accelerometers on users' phones. The findings reveal that individuals who are more physically active are happier. Further, individuals are happier in the moments when they are more physically active. These results emerged when assessing activity subjectively, via self-report, or objectively, via participants' smartphone accelerometers. Overall, this research suggests that not only exercise but also non-exercise physical activity is related to happiness. This research further demonstrates how smartphones can be used to collect large-scale data to examine psychological, behavioral, and health-related phenomena as they naturally occur in everyday life.

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