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Positive affect

Being with friends is a major source of joy. We saw in Chapter 3 that this was the most common source mentioned by European students. Larson (1990) carried out a study in which subjects were bleeped on random occasions and asked to report their mood. As Figure 6.1 shows they were in the most positive mood when with friends, followed by family and being alone. Some of these friends may have been of the opposite sex. The benefits of being with friends were greatest not only for those in their 20s but also for older individuals-who are less likely to have been sexually involved.