Happiness

Happiness - o Despite habituation, we can derive pleasure...

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August 11, 2010 Topic: Happiness o Ratio of positive and negative emotions o Behavioral measures (number of smiles) o Subjective self-report Unchanging setpoint: o Three dangerous ideas: o The hedonic treadmill and doom of habituation: Habituation: reduced responding to same stimulus over time Very true for some things, but not all with a bit of moderation Perhaps of greater relevance: no single pleasure is ever sustained o Return to setpoint no matter what: Differences between lottery winners and paraplegics Paraplegics experienced decreased happiness, while lottery winners experienced sustained increases in happiness and health o Happiness in your genes: Identical twins raised apart happier than fraternal twins raised together Over several years, 25% will experience a baseline change Some nations are happier than others The malleability of happiness:
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Unformatted text preview: o Despite habituation, we can derive pleasure from recurring aspects of our lives o Levels of happiness do change, despite genetic predisposition o Radical life changes affect happiness Correlates of happiness: o Correlation does not imply causation o Bad: o Health issues o Widowhood o Unemployment o Divorce o Depends: o Children o Marriage o Good: o Money o Money and happiness usually correlate o Greatest impact when providing basic necessities o Voluntary simplicity also effective (Amish) Contingent Happiness: o Good circumstances = increased happiness o The strategy is simple: accumulate good circumstances o Positional bias: More concerned about relative than absolute position Relative to history? Peers? Not everyone can be better off than peers o If-Then Model o Random acts of kindness o Gratitude...
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Happiness - o Despite habituation, we can derive pleasure...

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