Prof Yoram Barak 1 Improving Happiness: Evidence Based Interventions Prof Yoram Barak, MD, MHA. Tel-Aviv University, Israel
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3 What Shall We Talk About ? Positive Psychology Increasing Happiness
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5 What Shall We NOT Talk About ? Chemical Interventions Positive Psychology Increasing Happiness
Prof Yoram Barak 6 Chemical Interventions: we are NOT talking about… Dopamine = Reward Serotonin = Irritability Cannabinoids = Pleasure Others……
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Prescribing Happiness Prescribing Happiness: Positive Psychology and Family Medicine Paul J. Hershberger, PhD Family Medicine 2005; 37 (9): 630-4
Prof Y Barak What is Happiness good for ? The “Nuns” studies The top quartile in happiness lived 6.9 years longer –Happy persons > cognitive flexibility, creativity… better doctors?.. 9
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Prof Yoram Barak 14 The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Sonja Lyubomirsky University of California, Riverside Laura King University of Missouri—Columbia Ed Diener University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and The Gallup Organization Psychological Bulletin (Copyright 2005 by the Am Psychological Assoc) 2005, Vol. 131, No. 6, 803–855
Prof Yoram Barak 15 The happiness–success link Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. The happiness–success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success. The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that positive affect—the hallmark of well-being—may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness.
Prof Yoram Barak 16 Happiness-Success: sample size The final body of literature was composed of 225 papers, of which 11 are unpublished or dissertations. From these 225 papers, we examined 293 samples, comprising over 275,000 participants, and computed 313 independent effect sizes.
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Prof Yoram Barak 19 What Shall We Talk About ? Positive Psychology Increasing Happiness
Prof Yoram Barak 20 Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions Martin E. P. Seligman and Tracy A. Steen University of Pennsylvania Nansook Park University of Rhode Island Christopher Peterson University of Michigan July–August 2005 ● American Psychologist
Prof Yoram Barak 21 PoP – the Challenge Positive psychologists do not claim to have invented the good life or to have ushered in its scientific study, but the value of the overarching term positive psychology lies in its uniting of what had been scattered and disparate lines of theory and research about what makes life most worth living (Peterson & Park, 2003). As the basic science continues, other lines of work are moving into the realm of application (Linley & Joseph, 2004). Can psychologists take what they have learned about the science and practice of treating mental illness and use it to create a practice of making people lastingly happier? That is, can we create an evidence-based practice of positive psychology?
Prof Yoram Barak 22 Progress Report Positive psychology is an umbrella term for the study of positive emotions, positive character traits, and enabling institutions. Research findings from positive psychology are intended to supplement, not remotely to replace, what is known about human suffering, weakness, and disorder. The intent is to have a more complete and balanced scientific understanding of the human experience—the peaks, the valleys, and everything in between. We believe that a complete science and a complete practice of psychology should include an understanding of suffering and happiness, as well as their interaction, and validated interventions that both relieve suffering and increase happiness—two separable endeavors.
Prof Yoram Barak 23 Interventions We focus the rest of this article on the efficacy of psychological interventions to increase individual happiness, in many ways the bottom line of work in positive psychology. First, a caveat about the word happiness itself: We work under the assumption that happiness is a scientifically unwieldy term and that its serious study involves dissolving the term into at least three distinct and better-defined routes to “happiness” (Seligman, 2002): (a)positive emotion and pleasure (the pleasant life); (b)engagement (the engaged life); (c)meaning (the meaningful life). Our recent research suggests that people reliably differ according to the type of life that they pursue and, further, that the most satisfied people are those who orient their pursuits toward all three, with the greatest weight carried by engagement and meaning (Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005).
Prof Yoram Barak 24 INTERVENTIONS Placebo control exercise: Early memories. Participants were asked to write about their early memories every night for one week. Gratitude visit. Participants were given one week to write and then deliver a letter of gratitude in person to someone who had been especially kind to them but had never been properly thanked. Three good things in life. Participants were asked to write down three things that went well each day and their causes every night for one week. In addition, they were asked to provide a causal explanation for each good thing. You at your best. Participants were asked to write about a time when they were at their best and then to reflect on the personal strengths displayed in the story. They were told to review their story once every day for a week and to reflect on the strengths they had identified.
Prof Yoram Barak 25 Gratitude Visit
Prof Yoram Barak 26 Three Good Things
Prof Yoram Barak 27 You at your Best
Prof Yoram Barak 28 The Future of Positive Interventions; ”a-la-Seligman” Specific interventions make people lastingly happier. This creates implications—small and large—for the future of positive interventions and for clinical interventions. Operationalized happiness interventions compared to a placebo control in a sizable random-assignment experiment demonstrated that writing about three good things that happened each day and why they happened —made people happier (and less depressed) up to six months later. One other intervention—the gratitude visit—produced large positive changes but only for one month. Six months is far from “happily ever after,” but these results suggest that lasting increased happiness might be possible even outside fairy tales. Effect sizes were “moderate” or larger, which is at odds with the widespread belief that the pursuit of happiness is futile because of inevitable adaptation or an immutable hedonic set point.
Prof Yoram Barak 29 Two other ways of increasing happiness Kindness Spending Money
Prof Yoram Barak 30 HAPPY PEOPLE BECOME HAPPIER THROUGH KINDNESS: A COUNTING KINDNESSES INTERVENTION. Otake K, et al. J Happiness Studies 2006 Whereas gratitude results when people receive kindness from other people, kindness entails enacting kind behavior toward other people. We expected that in addition to the strength of gratitude, the strength of kindness would also play an important role in increasing subjective happiness. It has been reported that women respond more positively when observing a random act of kindness than do men, suggesting that women may be more attuned to kindnesses ( Baskerville et al., 2000 ).
Prof Yoram Barak 31 HAPPY PEOPLE BECOME HAPPIER THROUGH KINDNESS: A COUNTING KINDNESSES INTERVENTION. Otake K, et al. J Happiness Studies 2006 The counting kindnesses intervention asked participants to become more aware of their own kind behavior toward other people every day for one week. Participants were asked to keep track of each and every act of kindness they performed and to report the daily number of these acts.
Prof Yoram Barak 32 HAPPY PEOPLE BECOME HAPPIER THROUGH KINDNESS: A COUNTING KINDNESSES INTERVENTION. Otake K, et al. J Happiness Studies 2006
Prof Yoram Barak 33 HAPPY PEOPLE BECOME HAPPIER THROUGH KINDNESS: A COUNTING KINDNESSES INTERVENTION. Otake K, et al. J Happiness Studies 2006 The most important finding reported here is the close association between kindness and happiness is everyday life. Kind people experience more happiness and have happier memories. Simply by counting acts of kindness for one week, people appear to have become happier and more grateful. Thus, our results suggest that happy people are more kind in the first place and that they can become even happier, kinder and more grateful following a simple intervention.
Prof Yoram Barak 34 Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness. Elizabeth W. Dunn, et al Science,2008. Although much research has examined the effect of income on happiness, we suggest that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, we hypothesized that spending money on other people may have a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself.
Prof Yoram Barak 35 Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness. Elizabeth W. Dunn, et al Science,2008. Providing converging evidence for this hypothesis, we found that spending more of one’s income on others predicted greater happiness both: –cross-sectionally (in a nationally representative survey study) –longitudinally (in a field study of windfall spending). Finally, participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves.
Prof Yoram Barak 36 Take Home Message: The HAPPINESS diary Practice increasing your own happiness Teach others to increase their happiness Provide clients with happiness diaries … so they may measure and practice the “three good things” Be kind, spend on others !
Prof Y Barak תודה על ההקשבה ! “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply did not know where to go shopping!” Bo Derek 37