Happiness becomes less the high-energy, totally-psyched experience of a teenager partying while his parents are out of town, and more the peaceful, relaxing experience of an overworked mom who's been dreaming of that hot bath all day. The latter isn't less "happy" than the former -- it's a different way of understanding what happiness is.
Social psychologists describe this change as a consequence of a gradual shifting from promotion motivation -- seeing our goals in terms of what we can gain, or how we can end up better off, to prevention motivation -- seeing our goals in terms of avoiding loss and keeping things running smoothly. Everyone, of course, has both motivations. But the relative amounts of each differ from person to person, and can shift with experience as we age.
How important, if at all, is having more money for our happiness and well-being? Unsurprisingly this question stimulates a lot of opinion and debate.But are people accurate in their predictions about the benefits of having money?
A new study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology highlights that people are often mistaken in how spending our money might benefit our lives. People are prone to forecasting errors – that is, they mistakenly predict future events to be better or worse than they actually turn out to be.
When making a decision, does happiness win out over all? It’s important —even for decisions with implications that go far beyond simply achieving contentment, says Wharton operations and information management professor Alex Rees-Jones. But, as the saying goes, happiness isn’t everything. Often people knowingly forego the choice that will give them the most pleasure for one that satisfies other ideals or factors that are important to them.
“Get motivated!” and “stay positive!” are common bits of self-help advice. But have we gone too far in our penchant for positivity? Leaning on research, reporter and author Oliver Burkeman shares the counterintuitive insight of how abandoning goals and allowing some negativity in can actually be helpful.
“Theres a real benefit to finding ways to loosen our grip as goal driven people. When you look at successful entrepreneurs…you find they don’t follow this stereotype.”
Instead, Burkeman says, we should remain ready to adapt where we are heading and the embrace uncertainty that scares us.
Are you happy? Could you be happier? Gretchen Rubin was already "pretty happy" when she asked herself these very questions. In search of the answers, she started her own pursuit of happiness, which eventually became a New York Times bestseller titled, The Happiness Project. She has now written a second book, Happier at Home, based on the idea that the home is the foundation of happiness. Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with Rubin about why happy people work more hours each week, how to make and keep happiness resolutions, how to ward off the three happiness leeches and how to start your own Happiness Project.
Happiness is one of the most basic pursuits of humans. It drives many of us in our personal lives but often takes a back seat at work. This needs to change for employees, and their employers, to reach new levels of success.
The ultimate goal for many people in life is to be happy. You may have dreams about being happy with your career, being pleased with your interpersonal relationships and being satisfied with your body. But did you know that your level of happiness is completely up to you? While we can't control many of the things…
For her latest exhibition, I Try So Hard, Corinne Mariaud examines the figure of the model and focuses her attention on the smile. While the smile is an important part of the image of women in the fashion world, what becomes of it through the lens of an art photographer?
BBC Radio 4 addressing the question 'How Did Everything Begin?' In February, we featured its follow-up on an equally eternal question, 'What Makes Us Human?' Both came scripted by Philosophy Bites co-creator Nigel Warburton and narrated by X-Files co-star Gillian Anderson (in full British mode).
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