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Rethinking the Hedonic Treadmill: Differences in Adaptation Patterns across Events, People and Nations

State and University Library Bremen

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Title Rethinking the Hedonic Treadmill: Differences in Adaptation Patterns across Events, People and Nations
 
Creator Uglanova Ekaterina
 
Language eng
 
Date 2012
 
Subject subjective well-being, hedonic adaptation, critical life events, plasticity
 
Description The thesis investigated the impact of critical life events (marriage, divorce, birth of child, widowhood, and unemployment) on dynamics of subjective well-being (SWB). It contributed to specification of the hedonic treadmill theory by a) addressing the issue of events timing, b) exploring inter-individual differences in adaptation, and c) analyzing differences in adaptation across countries. The work comprised 3 empirical studies. The first study estimated the effect of life events not with a temporal precision of 12 months (as is common in the literature) but of 3 months. As expected, higher precision of events' timing allows a clearer view on hedonic adaptation, in particular following negative events (divorce, widowhood, unemployment). The second study analyzed inter-individual differences in adaptation to divorce. The findings confirmed that a) the reaction to divorce is not uniform, b) adaptation pattern depends on resources that are available to the individual. The third study compared the impact of divorce on SWB in Russia and West Germany and showed that the divorce-related dynamics, as well as the relevance of particular resources, are contingent on the larger socio-economic and cultural context a person lives in.
 
Identifier http://elib.suub.uni-bremen.de/peid=D00102607
 
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