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Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
Science of happiness
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Science of happiness


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  • What’s the difference: Sceince of happiness includes many studies on well being by traditional social scientists on areas not covered by PP including exercise, volunteering etc.
  • We realised need to look at all the major studies on happiness and try to find the major implications: ie how can we summarize their discoveries and apply to our own experience. Many of these scientists don’t know how to publicize their work.
    So meta analysis or reivew is very impo. We are trying to group togeter these studies into major areas and find common temes. We call these the corelates of happiness. Cochrane organziation is example of the power in large scale reviews, but they usually focus on pharmaceuticals. We are trying to do this on a smaller scale.
  • Captions: in your mind’s browser, clear your cache. Now delete your history. Now navigate to a blank web page
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Science of Happiness  Over the last two decades, upsurge in studies on happiness  Many studies conducted by social scientists specializing in Positive Psychology  Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness: what’s the difference?
    • 2. The Correlates of Happiness  We are trying to identify main correlates of happiness  Need for meta- analyses or reviews of key studies related to each correlate  Need to select scientifically rigorous studies (RCT’s etc)  What are the practical implications of such studies  Communicating  Caring  Exercise  Getting in the flow  Spiritual Engagement  Strengths and virtues  Positive thinking: Gratitude, savoring and optimism
    • 3. Communicating  People who have one or more close friendships appear to be happier  What seems to make a significant difference is cooperation in activities and sharing of personal feelings (successive disclosure)  Philosophical parallels: Aristotle
    • 4. Caring  People who volunteer or simply care for others on a consistent basis seem to be happier and less depressed  Studies on youth are rare and show little correlation  Is motivation a factor?  Philosophical parallels: Buddha and Mencius
    • 5. Exercise  Regular exercise is associated with improved mental well- being and a lower incidence of depression  Strongly suggested by unprecedented Cochrane review  Not a focus of Positive Psychology, or popular media until recently
    • 6. Getting in the flow  If we are deeply involved in trying to reach a goal, or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called “flow.”  Philosophical parallels: Zhuangzi
    • 7. Strengths and virtues  Positive psychologists like Martin Seligman argue that the happiest people are those that have discovered their unique strengths and virtues  More empirical evidence needed  Philosophical parallels are plentiful, especially in classical world: Socrates,
    • 8. Spiritual Engagement  Participation in spiritual activities  Significant increase in happiness independent from social component  Possible reasons: The question of meaning and purpose  Philosophical parallels: Viktor Frankl, William James
    • 9. Positive Thinking  Positive Thinking: Optimism, Savoring, and Gratitude  Mindfulness  The causation conundrum  Philosophical Parallels: Epicurus and the Stoics