Elizabeth W. Dunn

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Although much research has examined the effect of income on happiness, we suggest that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, we hypothesized that spending money on other people may have a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself. Providing converging evidence for this(More)
Because of personal motives and the architecture of the mind, it may be difficult for people to know themselves. People often attempt to block out unwanted thoughts and feelings through conscious suppression and perhaps through unconscious repression, though whether such attempts are successful is controversial. A more common source of self-knowledge(More)
This research provides the first support for a possible psychological universal: Human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). In Study 1, survey data from 136 countries were examined and showed that prosocial spending is associated with greater happiness around the world,(More)
Interest in bridging social psychology and neuroscience has seen a significant upsurge. Much of this interest has centered on brain localization--the attempt to relate psychological events to locations of brain events. Although many articles have sought to localize brain activity that supports social behavior, scant attention has been paid to the specific(More)
Positive self-presentation may have beneficial consequences for mood that are typically overlooked. Across a series of studies, participants underestimated how good they would feel in situations that required them to put their best face forward. In Studies 1 and 2A, participants underestimated the emotional benefits of interacting with an opposite sex(More)
This study provides the first evidence that money impairs people's ability to savor everyday positive emotions and experiences. In a sample of working adults, wealthier individuals reported lower savoring ability (the ability to enhance and prolong positive emotional experience). Moreover, the negative impact of wealth on individuals' ability to savor(More)
In two studies, the authors examined whether people who are high in emotional intelligence (EI) make more accurate forecasts about their own affective responses to future events. All participants completed a performance measure of EI (the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) as well as a self-report measure of EI. Affective forecasting ability(More)
People tend to overestimate the emotional consequences of future life events, exhibiting an impact bias. The authors replicated the impact bias in a real-life context in which undergraduates were randomly assigned to dormitories (or "houses"). Participants appeared to focus on the wrong factors when imagining their future happiness in the houses. They(More)
Recent scholarly and media accounts paint a portrait of unhappy parents who find remarkably little joy in taking care of their children, but the scientific basis for these claims remains inconclusive. In the three studies reported here, we used a strategy of converging evidence to test whether parents evaluate their lives more positively than do nonparents(More)
Evolutionary models of cooperation require proximate mechanisms that sustain prosociality despite inherent costs to individuals. The "warm glow" that often follows prosocial acts could provide one such mechanism; if so, these emotional benefits may be observable very early in development. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study finds that before(More)