CUP Undergraduate Research

Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2018

Document Type



College of Arts & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Erin Mueller, Ph.D.


I explored the relationship between how one perceives the circumstances of their life and how satisfied one is with the life they are living. Researchers have suggested that there is a strong desire for people to be happy (Broyles & King, 1997; Deiner, Shao, Smith, & Suh, 1995; King & Napa, 1998), and that being happy can positively influence various areas of one’s life (Deiner, King, & Lyubomirsky, 2005; Watkins, 2016). Furthermore, circumstances such as gender (Deiner & Pavot, 2013), age (Watkins, 2016), income (Deiner & Biswas-Deiner, 2002), intelligence (Choi & Veenhoven, 2012), and geography (Schkade & Kahneman, 1998) have little to do with one’s level of subjective well-being. I correlated results from the Satisfaction with Life survey (SLWS; Deiner, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985), and a life rating measure (Cummins & Nistico, 2002) to illustrate how perception of circumstances relate to how satisfied one is with their life. The results indicate that there was a significant positive correlation (r=0.75, p<.01) between the Life Rating (M=75.90 SD=14.90) and the SWLS (M=23.93 SD=4.82). I found that most of the people that participated in the life rating measure desired similar things for themselves, and were in similar places relative to achieving their own desired goals.

Included in

Psychology Commons