Journal article

When the pursuit of happiness backfires: The role of negative emotion valuation

Ashley Humphrey, Rebecca Szoka, Brock Bastian

The Journal of Positive Psychology | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2021

Abstract

Recent research has uncovered a downside to the pursuit of happiness; placing a high value on happiness can ironically lead to lower well-being. Not all approaches have this effect, however, and individuals who seek positivity within their day-to-day routines may experience higher well-being. The current research investigated whether the difference between these two approaches (valuing happiness vs. prioritizing positivity) exists in how people orient towards their negative emotions. Across two studies (n = 496) we find that feeling pressured to avoid feeling anxious or depressed partially mediated the relationship between valuing happiness and decreased well-being, but this was not the case..

View full abstract