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Happiness Depends on Recent Rewards and Expectations

(PsychCentral) Scientists at University College London (UCL) have developed a mathematical equation to accurately predict how happy people will say they are at a specific point in time…
The new equation accurately predicts exactly how happy people will say they are from moment to moment based on recent events, such as the rewards they receive and the expectations they have during a decision-making task…
Investigators say that before now, it was known that life events affect an individual’s happiness. However, it was unknown how happy people will be from moment to moment as they make decisions and receive outcomes resulting from those decisions.
The new equation captures this range of possibilities and scientists believe quantifying subjective states mathematically will help doctors better understand mood disorders. For example, self-reported feelings which fluctuate in response to events like small wins and losses can now be recorded in a smartphone application (game) that can then be reviewed by the medical team.
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