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Take notes on slides with this symbol.  According to Sonia Lyubomirsky (2001):  inborn genetic set-point for happiness accounts for 50% of our happiness.

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Presentation on theme: "Take notes on slides with this symbol.  According to Sonia Lyubomirsky (2001):  inborn genetic set-point for happiness accounts for 50% of our happiness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Take notes on slides with this symbol


3  According to Sonia Lyubomirsky (2001):  inborn genetic set-point for happiness accounts for 50% of our happiness  10% is due to circumstances  40% is something that can be influenced by each individual.

4  Happiness may be culturally constructed.  Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) defined happiness as the sum of positive emotions minus the sum of negative emotions.  Modern happiness research is based on the assumption that it is possible to measure people’s individual experience of happiness.

5  Although people in the western world become richer, they are not happier. 1. Social Comparison Theory is based on the idea that people learn about and assess themselves by comparison with others. (Leon Festinger) 2. People like happiness to reaching certain goals, but they tend to set higher goals once they have achieved the first ones. Therefore they end up never feeling happy.  Level of Aspiration Theory is where people examine what they gain and how likely it is that they will achieve it before making decisions about what to do.

6  General expectancy – people formulate general ideas about what to expect in different situations.  Myers and Dieners (1995) study shows that there is a discrepancy between wealth and happiness. Despite the buying power of the average American has tripled since 1950, the proportion of Americans who describe themselves as “very happy” remained the same at 1/3. Meaning there is no direct link between wealth and happiness.

7  Hagerty (2003) studied the relationship between happiness and the distribution of wealth. He compared data from the US and seven other countries, and found that happiness was positively correlated with equality of distribution of wealth in the country.  Upward comparison – comparing yourself to those who are more fortunate leads to dissatisfaction.

8  If I only had_____________, I would be happy.  Psychological research found that it is normal for people to believe they will be happier in the future than they are right now.  Is the media to blame?  Does advertising have an impact on our happiness?

9  Johnson and Kruger (2006) found that: › many people believe there is a relationship between happiness and money, it is the satisfaction with one’s salary that brings happiness. › The actual size of the salary does not matter, as long as the person is satisfied with it, and it is enough to provide for his/her family. › People become less satisfied with their salary if they compare themselves to others.

10  Once people have established beliefs, no matter how they acquired them, it is very difficult to change them.  If their beliefs are challenged by evidence they are likely to disregard it, and look for information that confirms their beliefs.

11  Conjoined twins Lori and George Schappel have been joined at the skull for 49 years. They share a blood supply, part of the skull and some brain tissue.  The sisters say they are very happy and optimistic, they do not want to be separated. Likely both would die. If one does die they want the other to perform the surgery so the other can go on living.  Do Lori and George really know what happiness is?

12  Gross national happiness – a measure of growth in happiness – as a contrast to the western gross national product (GNP).  British social psychologist Adrian White, created the first Map of World Happiness, based on data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the World Health Organization, and other official sources from around the world.


14  Map of World Happiness is based on a meta- analysis of responses from 80,000 people who answered questions about happiness and satisfaction with life.  meta-analysis (a study that uses data from a number of studies).

15  Happiest Countries 1. Denmark 2. Switzerland  Other Happy Countries  Austria, Iceland, the Bahamas, Finland, and Sweden.  Other countries 23. US 41. UK 61. France 82. China 90. Japan 125. India 167. Russia  Least Happy Countries › Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Burundi

16  US psychologist Martin Seligman coined the term positive psychology, meaning to conduct research that promotes human happiness and well-being.  Seligman demonstrated that people can learn to think positively and smile, in spite of life’s problems.

17  Habituation – humans become used to the way things are.

18  Set-point – innate baseline of happiness which is an aspect of our personality.  Happiness Twin Study – compared happiness scores among sets of identical and fraternal twins who grew up together or were reared apart. (Minnesota Twin Study) › Identical twins very similar in their happiness scores, while fraternal twins are no more similar than other siblings.

19  Lyubomirsky’s typical characteristics of happy people. › They devote a lot of time to family and friends › They can easily express gratitude for what they have › They are often the to offer a helping hand to people who need it. › They have an optimistic outlook on the future › They enjoy the pleasures of life and live in the present › They are committed to lifelong goals and ambitions › They spend time doing physical exercise › They cope well in time of crisis

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