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Title A Collective Theory of Happiness: Words Related to the Word Happiness in Swedish Online Newspapers
Author/s Danilo Garcia, Sverker Sikström
Department/s Department of Psychology
Full-text Full text is not available in this archive
Alternative location (URL) http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cybe... Restricted Access (Alternative Location)
Publication/Series Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Publishing year 2013
Volume 16
Issue 6
Pages 469 - 472
Document type Journal article
Status published
Quality controlled yes
Language English
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Abstract English Background: A central theme in media psychology is how certain contemporary and dominant views may tend to perpetuate themselves by presenting a recurring picture we humans use to form our knowledge about the world. The present study is based on 1.5 million words from articles published online in the Swedish daily newspapers in 2010. We investigated which words were most (un-)common in articles containing the word happiness, compared with articles that did not contain this word.
Findings: Words related to people as portrayed by all pronouns (you and me along us and them among the most recurrent), important others (e.g., grandmother, mother), the Swedish royal wedding (e.g., Daniel, Victoria), the FIFA World Cup (e.g., Zlatan, Argentina, Drogba) were highly recurrent with the word happiness. At the other end, words related to things were predictive of context not recurrent with the word happiness, such as money (e.g., millions, billions), bestselling gadgets (e.g., iPad, iPhone), and companies (e.g., Google, Windows).
Conclusions: The results presented here map on those findings in the happiness literature showing that relationships, not material things, makes people happy. We suggest our findings mirror a collective theory of happiness, that is, an shared picture or agreement across members of a community about what makes people happy — people not things. This consensus influences the content of newspapers and recursively feed the collective theory of happiness itself.
Subject Social Sciences
Keywords Happiness, Collective Theory of Happiness, News, Semantic Analyses, Subjective Well-Being
ISBN/ISSN/Other ISSN: 2152-2715
Research group Division of Cognitive Psychology
Project Semantic Spaces
Funder Swedish Research Council
References References

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