No Benefit in Seeing a Dark Future? On Recent Findings on the Effects of Forecasting Life Satisfaction
Journal article, 2016
In their article, Lang, Weiss, Gerstorf, & Wagner, (2013) use the adult life span sample of the national German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) to explore functional outcomes of life satisfaction with regard to hazards of mortality. Their findings suggest that "being overly optimistic [in] predicting a better future than actually observed was associated with [...] a great risk of mortality within the following decade." In this short paper, we analyze the same data set using the same model, but, in addition to the self-rated health status in the starting year included in the model by Lang et al. (2013), we furthermore control for the self-rated health at the target year. With this modification, it turns out that the accuracy of anticipated future life satisfaction has no significant effect on mortality. Two additional analyses underpin this finding.