Happiness and Smartphones

What can we discover about happiness in everyday life? Researchers from the University of Cambridge set out to answer this question, using a smartphone app.

The researchers used an app in which participants played a game that involved gambling with pretend money on a spinner game. As the participants played the game, the researchers asked the participants about their happiness several times through the smartphone app.

As an added component, participants played the game while in an fMRI scanner, which monitors brain activity in real time, allowing brain tracking in areas that were associated with happiness.

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The results showed that, in regards to the game, meeting and exceeding expectations was positively correlated with happiness. Having accurate expectations (not too low) helped increase happiness over time.

Because this study was done on peoples’ smartphones and partially in daily life, researchers were able to learn about happiness in a different way.

A great summary of the article can be found here, and the actual journal article can be found here.

Click here to find out about how you can use smartphones apps to learn about people in daily life.