I am a psychologist who studies emotional and cognitive well-being, from the micro-level process of everyday happiness to the macro-level implications of societal life satisfaction.
My recent projects have focused on how the memory for our everyday experiences informs our sense of well-being (Tov, 2012). In particular, I am intrigued by the process by which these experiences accumulate, are summarized, and ultimately contribute to our overall happiness and life satisfaction. In other lines of work, I am investigating the links between personality traits and the quality of social relationships.
At a broader level, I have examined the implications of well-being for trust in others and social institutions. Using large cross-national data sets, I have shown that there are cracks in the rose-colored lenses of happy people--that their perceptions of society are partly constrained by the objective conditions (e.g., social stability vs violence and inequality) in which they live (Tov, Diener, Ng, Kesebir, & Harter, 2009).
Finally, I am interested in the assessment of well-being and have evaluated the potential for detecting well-being and personality in short written expressions. These expressions are commonly found in diary studies, and more ubiquitously, social media. Such sources may provide alternative indices of momentary well-being across and within societies.