With the network approach researchers try to reveal how mood or stress levels are connected and change over time. But often they have not studied what causes these changes.

A recently published SiA article describes a new method: the fixed moderated time series model. Using this model researchers can study how context, like a nice conversation or being alone, affects these changes in mood or stress levels. It’s providing a clearer picture of why our mental states change and connect the way they do in response to changes in the environment. Dr. Laura Bringmann: “We hope to have shown how this model can help us to better understand changes in our mental well-being.”

This research is especially relevant for Stress in Action. An important question is how external factors, such as losing one’s job or having a fight, are related to stress. The fixed moderated time series model could help in studying how such factors are related to changes in stress levels over time.

Changing networks: Moderated idiographic psychological networks. Bringmann, L. F., Ariens, S., Ernst, A. F., Snippe, E. & Ceulemans, E. advances.in/psychology, 2, 2024;00: e658296.