Presentation on theme: "Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Ed Diener Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology University of Illinois 4 th European."— Presentation transcript:
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Ed Diener Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology University of Illinois 4 th European Conference on Positive Psychology July 1- 4, 2008 Rijeka, Croatia
“The most authoritative and informative book about happiness ever ^ written”
Unique Aspects of the Book: We present the research on the benefits of happiness – to health, work, and relationships We also show the need for “negative emotions,” and that you don’t necessarily need to be happier We show the danger of averages when applied to individuals, like for religion or marriage We present self-scoring measures for 7 variables We expose myths such as the “Set-point” We have a lot of fun stories
Part l: Understanding true wealth –Psychological Wealth: The Balanced Portfolio –Two Principles of Psychological Wealth Part 2: Happy people function better –Health and Happiness –Happiness and Social Relationships – You Can’t Do Without Them –Happiness at Work: It Pays to be Happy Part 3: Causes of happiness and genuine wealth –Can Money Buy Happiness? –Religion, Spirituality, and Happiness –The Happiest Places on Earth: Culture and Well-Being –Nature and Nurture – Is There a Happiness Set-Point, and Can You Change It? –Our Crystal Balls: Happiness Forecasting –Taking AIM: Attention, Interpretation, and Memory Part 4: Putting it all together –Yes, You Can Be Too Happy –Living Happily Ever After –Measuring Your Psychological Wealth
But what of Brickman et al.? Lottery winners Paraplegics
Life Satisfaction and 100 Percent Disability (Lucas)
Conclusion The “Set-point” is really more like a “Set-range” Temperament is important, but circumstances matter too
3. Money Despite popular myths, money is correlated with happiness, although not always strongly
But Warnings About Money! Toxicity of materialism Don’t sacrifice too much of other components of wealth, such as relationships Declining marginal utility
Even the poor can be happy Maasai Inuit Amish Slums of Calcutta A. If basic needs met, for food etc. B.If not desiring more C.Have other rewards such as relationships
4. Society Influences Happiness The individualism bias in positive psychology – happiness is within you only But what of positive institutions?
Life Evaluation Ladder Ideal to Worst (10 to 0) Denmark8.0 Finland7.7 Switzerland7.5 Netherlands7.5 Spain7.2 Ireland7.1 Togo3.2 Cambodia3.6 Sierra Leone3.6 Georgia3.7 Zimbabwe3.8 West Bank4.7
Culture Influences Levels of Well-being Pleasant Emotions—Enjoyment etc. High Low HondurasPakistan PanamaBangladesh Costa RicaPalestine Puerto RicoTajikistan
5. “Cognition:” Positive Mental Outlook The habit of seeing the glass half-full Seeing opportunities, not threats Generally trusting and liking oneself and others
Cognition: AIM Model Attention Interpretation Memory
Cognition: AIM Model Attention –Seeing beauty and good in the world Interpretation –Interpreting many things as positive Memory –Savoring rather than ruminating COGNITIVE HABITS PEOPLE GET INTO!
“Spirituality”: Experiencing Broadening Positive Emotions – which make life larger than just our own self-interests: Gratitude Love Awe Transcendance
Part l: Understanding true wealth Part 2: Happy people function better Part 3: Causes of happiness and genuine wealth Part 4: Putting it all together –Yes, You Can Be Too Happy –Living Happily Ever After –Measuring Your Psychological Wealth
Being too happy? No negative emotions –They can be appropriate –They sometimes help functioning Searching for constant euphoria & ecstasy –Expectations too high In some instances “8’s” do better than “10’s”
National Accounts of Well-Being Robert Kennedy, 1968 Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross Nation Product... counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage…. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.
National Accounts of SWB Measuring well-being for policy Information beyond wealth GDP, employment, etc. These will help the positive behavioral sciences!
Self-Scoring Scales in the book: Life satisfaction Positive affect Negative affect Positive thinking Negative thinking Strong social relationships Psychological well-being
Suggestions to Increase Well-Being: Have important values and goals Develop strong relationships Cultivate spiritual emotions Intelligent happiness forecasting AIM your mind Live as though happiness is a process