Does Happiness Improve Health? Evidence From a Randomized Control Trial
Kushlev, K., Heintzelman, S. J., & Diener, E. (submitted). Does Happiness Improve Health? Evidence From a Randomized Control Trial.
Happier people are healthier, but does becoming happier lead to better health? In the current work, we deploy a comprehensive, three-month positive psychological intervention (PPI) as an experimental tool to examine the effects of increasing subjective well-being on physical health in a nonclinical population. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 155 community adults, we found treatment participants reported experiencing fewer sick days over the course of the program. Effects on self-reported physical health were also revealed in analyses from baseline to follow-up three months after the end of treatment. Combining experimental and longitudinal methodologies, this work provides evidence for a causal effect of subjective well-being on self-reported physical health.
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