Dispositional happiness and affective forecasting: General or specific effect?

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Dispositional happiness and affective forecasting: General or specific effect?

Recent findings suggest that dispositional traits can influence personal affective forecasting. In this study, we investigated the relationship between dispositional happiness and affective prediction about academic performance among undergraduate students. Participants were asked to predict their emotional reactions on a 7-point Likert scale in regard to an important exam’s result two months prior obtaining their results. All the participants were contacted by SMS (Short Text Message) 8 h after the results were available and were requested to rate their actual emotional feelings on the same scale. According to their scores on the subjective happiness scale, participants were assigned into ‘happy’ and ‘unhappy’ groups. Results show no emotional prediction differences between the two groups for extreme results (i.e. good and bad results). In contrast, happy participants predicted less negative emotional feelings than unhappy ones for moderate results. No differences appear for the emotional feelings assessed the day they received their exam’s scores. These findings support the idea that dispositional happiness is related to emotional prediction and, more particularly, indicate that happiness induces more positive feelings concerning moderate future events, but not for extreme ones. This study suggests that happiness induces a positive view about emotional coping for future intermediate accomplishments only and not a positive view of the future in general.

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