Association of Increased Levels of Happiness with Reduced Levels of Tension and Anxiety after Mental Stress Testing in Japanese College StudentsReport as inadecuate




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Previous studies from western countries have reported that happyindividuals report lower levels of negative mood during and-or following mentalstress testing; this finding has not been examined in Japan. This studyexamined the relationship between happiness, measured using the SubjectiveHappiness Scale Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999, and negative moods i.e.,tension and anxiety during and after mental stress testing in Japanese collegestudents. Based on the findings of previous literature and inverse correlationsbetween positive and negative moods, we hypothesized that participants withhigher levels of happiness the higher happiness group, or HG showsignificantly lower levels of negative moods and higher levels of positivemoods following mental stress testing, compared to participants with lower levelsof happiness the lower happiness group, or LG. Of a total of 392 Japanese undergraduateswho participated in a screening survey, those whose scores were one standarddeviation higher or lower than the average score were invited to participate inthe experiment. Eight HG and nine LG students agreed to participate. A five-minutecomputerized mental arithmetic task was used to induce stress. The sessioncomprised a five minute pre-task period, a five minute task, and a five minutepost-task period. The levels of positive and negative moods during each periodwere measured retrospectively following each period. Heart rate was measuredduring the session. Participant heart rate levels and negative moods increasedsignificantly from the pre-task to the task periods, and subsequently decreasedduring the post-task period. Levels of positive mood decreased from thepre-task to the task period. Negative moods were significantly lower in HGsthan in LGs during the post-task period. These results partially supported thehypothesis whereby subjective happiness buffered the impact of stressors onnegative moods by influencing post-stress negative mood levels.

 

KEYWORDS

Happiness; Mental Stress Testing; Mood; Stress

Cite this paper

Horiuchi, S. , Tsuda, A. , Toyoshima, N. , Aoki, S. & Sakano, Y. 2013. Association of Increased Levels of Happiness with Reduced Levels of Tension and Anxiety after Mental Stress Testing in Japanese College Students. Psychology, 4, 682-687. doi: 10.4236-psych.2013.49097.





Author: Satoshi Horiuchi, Akira Tsuda, Natsuki Toyoshima, Shuntaro Aoki, Yuji Sakano

Source: http://www.scirp.org/



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