Dynamic Modeling of Activity Happiness: An Investigation of the Intra-Activity Hedonic Treadmill

While travel has traditionally been considered a means to reach activities, researchers have begun to investigate the effect it has on well-being. Improved surveying methods enabled by mobile phone applications allow researchers to collect more complete data and test hypotheses related to individuals’ happiness with travel and activities. This paper summarizes a data collection effort that took place in Melbourne, Australia using Future Mobility Sensing, a mobile phone application and web-based platform. Throughout the study, users were asked twice daily to report on happiness for a single activity, including travel. The paper develops a dynamic Ordinal Logit Model based on the collected data and discusses the estimation results in the context of Hedonic Theory. The deviation of the reported happiness for an activity observation and an individual Set Point, defined as the median reported happiness of a user, is modeled as a function of covariates. The results show how different activity types affect individuals’ experienced happiness. It is found that educational activities, followed by work and travel, are the most disliked. Discretionary actives and other activities are seen to lead to more positive experiences of happiness. The model is used to test for the presence of an intra-activity Hedonic Treadmill Effect. It is found that people remember their activities as more neutral in later reports of happiness. The implications for the measurement of happiness data are discussed.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADB10 Standing Committee on Traveler Behavior and Values.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Viegas de Lima, Isabel
    • Abou-Zeid, Maya
    • Kutadinata, Ronny
    • Navidi, Zahra
    • Winter, Stephan
    • Zhao, Fang
    • Ben-Akiva, Moshe
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697621
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-05059
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 1 2019 3:51PM