Monday, 18 February 2013

Notes Of Meeting

18th Feb 2013 (9:40am to 9:55m)
Present: Avani, Metta, William and Ji Hao
Absent with apologies: NIL

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Notes Of Meeting

12th Feb 2013 (8:10pm to 9:30pm)
Present: Avani, Metta, William and Ji Hao
Absent with apologies: NIL

Monday, 4 February 2013

Notes Of Meeting

4th Feb 2013 (09:05am - 09:55am)
Present: Ji Hao, William, Avani and Metta
Absent with apologises: Nil

Friday, 1 February 2013

Literature Review

Few studies have demonstrated an association on how the stress level of SST students, affect their grades and happiness level. For our research, the grades refer to the End-of-year grades. This review will define the meaning of happiness and stress for our studies and will also focus on the effects of happiness and stress on grades and the effect of happiness and stress on each other. This literature review will also include the methodologies available for our research.

What is the definition of happiness? According to Mogilner et al. (2010), the meaning of happiness is associated with excitement by younger people. However, as the data was collected from blog posts, the findings may not be accurate. Seligman (2002) describes happiness in three parts: pleasure, engagement and meaning. Pleasure is to “feel good”, engagement is to live a good life of work, family, friends and hobbies, while meaning refers to using our strength to contribute to a larger purpose. These meanings of happiness have helped us to define happiness for our study, which is living a good life and having an overall satisfaction with life.

What is stress? The Canadian Mental Health Association (n.d.). state that our perception and thoughts about an event determine our stress level, whereas the Mental Health Foundation (n.d.). in the UK define stress as the way a person feels when he/she is under abnormal pressure. It can be argued that that the Mental Health Foundation’s definition of stress is a result of the perception of an event which can be considered stressful. Thus, our research defines stress level as the perception of a event.

According to most research articles, academic performance is affected by happiness. From their research, Quinn & Duckworth (n.d.) concluded that students with higher well-being, which is defined as happiness in the research, were more likely to earn higher final grades. This is supported by Gilman & Huebner (2006) who found that students of mean age 14.45 who reported higher happiness level were more likely to report higher grade point averages (GPAs) than students with lower life satisfaction. These conclusions support that happiness is a large factor in academic performance.

There have been many researches which indicate a relation between stress and grades. Talib & Zia-ur-Rehman (2012) reported that perceived stress had a negative effect on the academic performance of students. This is supported by a research by Malik & Balda (2006) which also found that academic achievement was significantly and negatively correlated with stress. The researches show that stress affects grades negatively and significantly.

Is there any relationship between stress and happiness? One research by Schiffrin et al. (2008) received results which indicate that there is an inverse relation between stress and happiness in college students. Our hypothesis for this question is also similar: The stress level of an SST student has a negative correlation with his/her happiness level.

How can happiness and stress be measured reliably? Diener et al. (1985) developed the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) which has been used by psychologists worldwide. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK conducted a happiness survey which asked UK households how satisfied they are with their lives. (Trotman, 2011) As these two surveys are about life satisfaction, they can be used in our survey to measure happiness. Cohen et al. (1983) created the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), which is now the most widely used instrument for measuring the perception of stress. Thus, this can be used to measure stress in our research.


Canadian Mental Health Association (n.d.). What is stress? Retrieved 20 January 2013 from

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., and Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 386-396.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

Gilman, R. & Heubner, E. S. (2006). Characteristics of adolescents who report very high life satisfaction. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35(3), 311-319.

Malik, P. R., & Balda, S. (2006). High IQ Adolescents Under Stress: Do They Perform Poor in Academics? Anthropologist, 8(2), 61-62.

Mental Health Foundation (n.d.). Stress. Retrieved 20 January 2013 from

Mogilner, C., Kamver, S. D. & Aaker, J. (2010). The Shifting Meaning of Happiness. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 395-402. doi: 10.1177/1948550610393987

Quinn, P. D. & Duckworth, A. L. (n.d.). Happiness and Academic Achievement: Evidence for Reciprocal Causality. Retrieved 19 January 2013 from

Schiffrin, H. H., Rezendes, D. & Nelson, S.K. (2008). Stressed and happy? Investigating the relationship between happiness and perceived stress. Journal of Happiness Studies. 11(1), 33-39. doi:10.1007/s10902-008-9104-7.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. Free Press.

Talib, N. & Zia-ur-Rehman, M. (2012). Academic performance and perceived stress among university students. Educational Research and Review, 7(5), 127-132. doi: 10.5897/ERR10.192

Trotman, A. (2011, Feb 25). Office for National Statistics reveals "happiness" survey questions. The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 January 2012 from