Birkbeck College, University of London

Project Description

Explanatory style, life satisfaction and life events

Project Abstract

Current models predict a relationship between explanatory style and life satisfaction. Specifically, how we explain the causes of events is directly related to our psychological well-being. Somebody who blames falling over on themselves for example, is said to have a pessimistic style, which may lead to negative psychological well-being (for example depression). On the other hand, somebody who explains negative events on external factors is likely to be better off psychologically. Current research therefore suggests that our psychological well-being is dependent on our attitudes; put another way, our happiness depends on our thoughts. This study examines the relationship between explanatory style, life satisfaction and life events, to determine if actual life events are associated with the former two. If they are, it may be concluded that it is not a simple case of our attitudes shaping our happiness, but a complex interaction between life events and attitudes that leads to our happiness.

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