An fMRI Analysis of Subjective Well-Being Responses: More Positive Responses Engage Brain Regions Similar to Positive Cognitive Reappraisal

9 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2017

Date Written: September 21, 2012

Abstract

This paper presents results from a parametric analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data examining within-subject differences in brain activations associated with more and less positive responses to the types of questions commonly used to measure subjective well-being (SWB) in social science research. Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of cognitive reappraisal as a strategy to improve SWB. Neuroimaging research has shown positive reappraisal of negative stimuli to be consistently associated with activations in the superior and middle frontal gyrus. In the current study, relatively more positive (within-subject) responses to SWB questions were also associated with increased activation in the superior and middle frontal gyrus. We speculate that positive cognitive reappraisal processes may not only be one of several potentially successful SWB intervention strategies, but may actually be an inherent component of relatively more positive SWB evaluation.

Keywords: subjective well-being, fMRI

Suggested Citation

James, Russell N. and O'Boyle, Michael W., An fMRI Analysis of Subjective Well-Being Responses: More Positive Responses Engage Brain Regions Similar to Positive Cognitive Reappraisal (September 21, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3091748 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3091748

Russell N. James (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Michael W. O'Boyle

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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