Ekaterina A. Uglanova and Ursula M. Staudinger

Social Science Indicators, March 2013


This paper analyzed the effect of major positive and negative life events (marriage, divorce, birth of child, widowhood, and unemployment) on life satisfaction. For the first time, this study estimated the effects of life events not with a precision of 12 months but of 3 months. Specifically, two questions were addressed: (1) Does the precision of the temporal localization of the event (i.e., 12 or 3 months) affect the observed trajectories of life satisfaction, and (2) is the precision of the temporal localization more important for negative life events? As expected, results showed that the precision of temporal localization allows a clearer view on hedonic adaptation, in particular following negative life events.

View the paper here: Zooming in on Life Events: Is Hedonic Adaptation Sensitive to the Temporal Distance from the Event?