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The day after the November 2016 election, liberal pundits re-assured Democrats that, while they may feel miserable at the moment, that melancholy was temporary. Research has consistently shown that, following an unwelcome shock, most people rapidly return to their baseline level of happiness.
Confirming that truism, in 2012, disappointed Mitt Romney voters bounced back quite quickly. But in this realm, as in so many others, it turns out the Donald Trump era is different.
Study - Reports - Americans - Hillary - Clinton
A new study reports Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton suffered a substantial dip in happiness that persisted for at least six months after the election.
"This impact is remarkable, given past research demonstrating the stability of subjective well-being," writes a research team led by psychologist Heather Lench of Texas A&M University. "National events can affect how people perceive the overall quality of their lives."
Study - Journal - Emotion - Mix - University
The study, in the journal Emotion, featured 1,019 participants—a mix of university undergraduates in Texas and California, plus 455 Americans recruited online. They filled out surveys at four points in time: three weeks before the election, the week of the vote, three weeks later, and six months after the election.
To gauge their level of happiness, participants noted on a one-to-nine scale how happy, angry, and scared they were currently feeling. Separately, they used that same scale to answer the question, "How satisfied are you feeling with your life, all things considered?"
Happiness - Clinton - Supporters - Week - Election
Not surprisingly, self-reported happiness plunged among Clinton supporters the week of the election. But the scale of the decline was, to use a Trumpian term, "yuge."
Lench and her colleagues note that, in a famous 1978 study, "people who had become quadriplegic within the last year reported lower happiness than controls and lottery...
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