The comeback effect: How happy are people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection?
There is already a large body of research on the dramatic negative effects of COVID-19 on peoples’ mental and physical health. Millions of people have died, and the pandemic has negatively influenced the lives of billions of people. Luckily however, the vast majority of people infected with the virus, recovers. The happiness and wellbeing of these people have not been extensively studied. In the current paper, we ask the question: Are people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection happier than those who have not been infected at all? Building on previous research on hedonic adaptation and counterfactual thinking, we hypothesize, and find, that those who have had an infection appear slightly happier than others. The study relies on two surveys conducted in Sweden during the pandemic in 2020 (n=1029) and 2021 (n=1788).
Copyright (c) 2022 Micael Dahlen, Helge Thorbjørnsen, Petra von Heideken Wågert, Charlotta Hellström, Birgitta Kerstis, Daniel Lindberg, Jonas Stier, Maria Elvén
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