Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Risk attitudes as an independent predictor of debt
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2010-09-17) ; ;
    This paper examines how attitudes to risk relate to other psychological constructs of personality and consideration of future consequences (a proxy for time preferences) and how risk attitudes relate to credit behaviour and debt holdings. There is a small correlation between risk attitudes and consideration of future consequences. As regards personality, risk attitudes are most positively related to extraversion and openness to experience and are negatively related to neuroticism. Risk willingness is a robust predictor of debt holdings even controlling for demographics, personality, consideration of future consequences and other covariates.
  • Publication
    Psychological and biological foundations of time preference : evidence from a day reconstruction study with biological tracking
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-08-10) ; ;
    This paper considers the relationship between the economic concept of time preference and relevant concepts from psychology and biology. Using novel data from a time diary study conducted in Ireland that combined detailed psychometric testing with medical testing and real time bio-tracking, we examine the distribution of a number of psychometric measures linked to the economic concept of time preferences and test the extent to which these measures form coherent clusters and the degree to which these clusters are related to underlying biological substrates. The paper finds that financial discounting is related to a range of psychological variables including consideration of future consequences, self-control, conscientiousness, extraversion, and experiential avoidance as well as being predicted by heart rate variability and blood pressure.
  • Publication
    Naturalistic monitoring of the affect-heart rate relationship : a day reconstruction study
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2009-01-02) ; ; ; ;
    Objective: Prospective studies have linked both negative affective states and trait neuroticism with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. However, identifying how fluctuations in cardiovascular activity in day-to-day settings are related to changes in affect and stable personality characteristics has remained a methodological and logistical challenge. Design: In the present study, we tested the association between affect, affect variability, personality and heart rate (HR) in daily life. Measures: We utilized an online day reconstruction survey to produce a continuous account of affect, interaction, and activity patterns during waking hours. Ambulatory HR was assessed during the same period. Consumption, activity, and baseline physiological characteristics were assessed in order to isolate the relationships between affect, personality and heart rate. Results: Negative affect and variability in positive affect predicted an elevated ambulatory HR and tiredness a lower HR. Emotional stability was inversely related to HR, whereas agreeableness predicted a higher HR. Baseline resting HR was unrelated to either affect or personality. Conclusion: The results suggest that both state and trait factors implicated in negative affectivity may be risk factors for increased cardiovascular reactivity in everyday life. Combining day reconstruction with psychophysiological and environmental monitoring is discussed as a minimally invasive method with promising interdisciplinary relevance.
  • Publication
    The role of awakening cortisol and psychological distress in diurnal variations in affect : a day reconstruction study
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2010-07) ; ; ;
    People often feel unhappy in the morning but better later in the day, and this pattern may be amplified in the distressed. Past work suggests that one function of cortisol is to energize people in the mornings. In a study of 174 students we tested to see if daily affect patterns, psychological distress, and awakening cortisol levels were interlinked. Affect levels were assessed using the Day Reconstruction Method (Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2004) and psychological distress was measured using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (Antony, Bieling, Cox, Enns, & Swinson, 1998). On average positive affect increased markedly in a linear pattern across the day whilst negative affect decreased linearly. For the highly distressed this pattern was stronger for positive affect. Lower than average morning cortisol, as assessed by two saliva samples at waking and two samples 30 minutes after waking, predicted a clear increasing pattern of positive affect throughout the day. When we examined the interlinkages between affect patterns, distress, and cortisol our results showed that a pronounced linear increase in positive affect from morning through to evening occurred chiefly among distressed people with below average cortisol levels upon awakening. Psychological distress, whilst not strongly associated with morning cortisol levels, does appear to interact with cortisol levels to profoundly influence affect.
  • Publication
    Can Early Intervention Policies Improve Well-being? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2014-10) ; ; ; ;
    Many authors have proposed incorporating measures of well-being into evaluations of public policy. Yet few evaluations use experimental design or examine multiple aspects of wellbeing, thus the causal impact of public policies on well-being is largely unknown. In this paper we examine the effect of an intensive early intervention program on maternal wellbeing in a targeted disadvantaged community. Using a randomized controlled trial design we estimate and compare treatment effects on global well-being using measures of life satisfaction, experienced well-being using both the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) and a measure of mood yesterday, and also a standardized measure of parenting stress. The intervention has no significant impact on negative measures of well-being, such as experienced negative affect as measured by the DRM and global measures of well-being such as life satisfaction or a global measure of parenting stress. Significant treatment effects are observed on experienced measures of positive affect using the DRM, and a measure of mood yesterday. The DRM treatment effects are primarily concentrated during times spent without the target child which may reflect the increased effort and burden associated with additional parental investment. Our findings suggest that a maternal-focused intervention may produce meaningful improvements in experienced well-being. Incorporating measures of experienced affect may thus alter cost-benefit calculations for public policies.
  • Publication
    Worker well-being before and during the COVID-19 restrictions: A longitudinal study in the UK
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2021-02) ; ; ;
    The potential impact of COVID-19 restrictions on worker well-being is currently unknown. In this study we examine 15 well-being outcomes collected from 621 full-time workers assessed before (November, 2019 - February, 2020) and during (May-June, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. Fixed effects analyses are used to investigate how the COVID-19 restrictions and involuntary homeworking affect well-being and job performance. The majority of worker well-being measures are not adversely affected. Homeworkers feel more engaged and autonomous, experience fewer negative emotions and feel more connected to their organisations. However, these improvements come at the expense of reduced homelife satisfaction and job performance.