Psychology & Psychiatry

F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew toward happiness

In 1969, two psychologists at the University of Illinois proposed what they called the Pollyanna Hypothesis—the idea that there is a universal human tendency to use positive words more frequently than negative ones. "Put ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Equation predicted happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide

The happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide has been predicted by a mathematical equation developed by researchers at UCL, with results showing that moment-to-moment happiness reflects not just how well things are going, ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Tuning out: How brains benefit from meditation

Experienced meditators seem to be able switch off areas of the brain associated with daydreaming as well as psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, according to a new brain imaging study by Yale researchers.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Happiness really does come for free: study

Economic growth is often prescribed as a sure way of increasing the well-being of people in low-income countries, but a study led by McGill and the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies at the Universitat Autònoma ...

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Happiness

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. In everyday speech today, however, terms such as well-being or quality of life are usually used to signify the classical meaning, and happiness usually refers[citation needed] to the felt experience or experiences that philosophers historically called pleasure.

While direct measurement of happiness presents challenges, tools such as The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire have been developed by researchers. Positive psychology researchers use theoretical models that include describing happiness as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities, or that describe three kinds of happiness: pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Research has identified a number of attributes that correlate with happiness:[citation needed] relationships and social interaction, parenthood, marital status, religious involvement, age, income (but mainly up to the point where survival needs are met), and proximity to other happy people.

Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.

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