False memory and the associative network of happiness

Minkyung Koo, Shigehiro Oishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines the relationship between individuals' levels of life satisfaction and their associative networks of happiness. Study 1 measured European Americans' degree of false memory of happiness using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Scores on the Satisfaction With Life Scale predicted the likelihood of false memory of happiness but not of other lure words such as sleep. In Study 2, European American participants completed an association-judgment task in which they judged the extent to which happiness and each of 15 positive emotion terms were associated with each other. Consistent with Study 1's findings, chronically satisfied individuals exhibited stronger associations between happiness and other positive emotion terms than did unsatisfied individuals. However, Koreans and Asian Americans did not exhibit such a pattern regarding their chronic level of life satisfaction (Study 3). In combination, results suggest that there are important individual and cultural differences in the cognitive structure and associative network of happiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Culture
  • Happiness
  • Life satisfaction
  • Memory
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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