A test of your happiness assets


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A test of your happiness assets

  1. 1. A TEST OF YOUR HAPPINESS ASSETS "What do happy people have that I don't?" Have you ever asked yourself that question? Actually, according to our studies, you probably have never considered the question at all. The data indicates that most of us hardly consider our happiness. Indeed, for the most part, we take our happiness pretty much for granted. We grow very much accustomed to the happiness-level we normally experience and rarely examine it. Whether we're happy, average, or unhappy, we have a tendency to accept it as our natural status and let it go as that. Generally it is only in our more unhappy moments that we think about our happiness consciously... "Why can't I be happy?", "Why am I so miserable?" or, "What would make me happy?" are the questions which typically flit through the mind in these bleaker periods. But usually, improbable answers like "If I could find true love" or "If I were a millionaire" seem to suffice, and a few days later we revert to our more "normal" level of happiness, go on about our "normal" life, and question the matter no further. Perhaps, however, the mistake we make is not asking the right question! Allow me to suggest a better one: "What do happy people have that I don't?" Here we have the inkling of a strategy. If one could find-out what makes other people happy, one might gain some possible insights into their own happiness! It's obvious that the place to begin learning about happiness is to study the happiest people! Are there are things about them which might explain why they are happier than others? And if so, are there things all of us might learn from? These are excellent questions, indeed. Yet up until the last several decades such questions have remained unanswered by science. Yet in recent years, these questions have been tackled by research psychologists. Now, the questions previous generations pondered in rhyme or riddle for centuries can be tentatively answered with scientific fact. So, what do happy people have that you don't?
  2. 2. Find out, as we take an informal test of your own happiness assets... In the pages that follow, we've arranged a brief series of quiz questions about your life. When scored (according to the directions provided at the end of the quiz), they should give you a pretty good idea of your current happiness status. The questions are designed to tap all the major factors that contribute to happiness, and because they do, this quiz also serves to introduce you to the many areas of happiness research we'll cover, in detail, later in these Volumes. Bear in mind, this is just a quiz -- not an official psychological test. You shouldn't take great stock in the results, unless they sound correct to you. We have, however, compared the scores on this quiz to several of the most widely-used scientific instruments in the field (230, 235) and found it to be a fairly accurate assessment. Now, on to the quiz! And, to your opportunity to find out how happy you are compared to the happiest people the research has studied. INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE QUIZ You can take this quiz by marking in this book or by marking your answers on a separate sheet of paper. Answer and score each question as you go along. At the end of the quiz, we'll tally your points and give you a complete evaluation of your score. To make the quiz more informative as you take it, we've provided a bit of an explanation after each question that previews the topics which will be covered, more extensively, in later chapters. If you're ready, here's the first question... ~~~~~ QUESTION 1: The way things are going for me these days, I can honestly say that "I've got it made!" Things couldn't be going any better!
  3. 3. POSSIBLE ANSWERS: A. Definitely true. B. Pretty true. C. Only a little true. D. Not true at all. SCORING DIRECTIONS: On this question, and all the questions to follow, select the answer more true of you, then look at scoring directions given after each question, and write down the points allowed for your particular answer. For Question 1: answer A is worth 6 points; answer B is worth 4; answer C is worth 1; and answer D gets 0 points. Write your points down on line 1 and continue -- you'll add all your points later, so it's best to keep them in a straight column. You may also notice that the points allotted to the answers to this question, and the other questions that follow, vary in their mathematical weights (some answers even give minus points). This is done intentionally to reflect one of the important underlying findings of happiness research: some factors contribute more to happiness than others. The point-spread for each question reflects this, and the careful reader can learn appropriately. Now to the data behind question #1. If you answered "definitely true", you are probably a very happy person -- for more than anything, happy people have it made! As we shall see in later chapters, this simple idea sums up the happiness research more than anything else we can report. On a general statistical basis, happy people have everything that you, and most everyone else, would probably want out of life. Indeed, as I've been quoted elsewhere, "happy people appear to have all the good things of life, in greater abundance, and for longer periods of time than the average person does" (228, 229, 289). As we learn more about happy people in the coming chapters, we will see this general theme reflected again and again. ~~~~~~~~ QUESTION 2: How active a person are you? ANSWERS: A. Extremely active and busy most all the time. B. Pretty active. C. Moderately active. D. Not very active. SCORING: If you answered A, mark down 4 points, B = 3, C = 1, D = 0.
  4. 4. If you answered "A" you are more like happy people, since one of the most consistent findings regarding happy people is that they are extremely active people. Happy people live a full life, filled with activity. They're always busy doing something. They're the type that get wrapped up and involved with living, and tend to get the most out of everything they do. As we study the research in detail, we'll find that this active, involved approach to living is one of the major ingredients of happiness. Happy people get more out of life because they put more into it. ~~~~~~ QUESTION 3: Considering all the things that take up your time during the week, how much of that time do you actually spend doing things you really find fun and enjoyable? ANSWERS: A. Most of the time; B. Perhaps half of the time; C. Only some of the time, mainly on weekends; D. Only a few hours each week; E. Hardly ever. (SCORING: A=5, B=3, C=1, D=0, E= minus 2) QUESTION 4: How much of your time do you spend doing things that you feel are meaningful, significant, and important? ANSWERS: A. I devote most all my time to things I think are meaningful; B. I devote some of my time to meaningful activities; C. I spend a little time, every now and then, on things I think are meaningful; D. I rarely spend any time on things that are important or meaningful. (SCORING: A=5, B=3, C=1, D=0) Questions 3 & 4 go together. They both ask you about how spend your time. Just before, we suggested that happy people are active people -- and indeed that's true. But it's more than the everyday demands on your time, it's how you're spending it that really counts. If you spend most of your time in fun activities that you really enjoy and in pursuits that you consider meaningful and important, then you are like the happiest people we've studied. Findings show that happy people spend most of their time doing things they love to do -- much more so than do average or unhappy people. ~~~~~ QUESTION 5: Are you male or female? (SCORING: Give yourself 0 points for A, or 0 points for B.)
  5. 5. Male or female, no points are given here. Sex has little to do with the happiness one achieves. According to the data, men and women appear equally happy. In dozens of studies, conducted over many years, interviewing hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life, hardly any statistically significant differences have been shown between the overall happiness levels of men and women. This is not to say sex doesn't matter. As we shall examine later, sex-roles and stereotypes have pronounced effects on the avenues to happiness-achievement. Gender-based conflicts and stresses at home, at the workplace, and in romance also effect happiness differently for males and females. Societal rewards available to the sexes continues to vary greatly. But despite these differences, males and females manage to compete equally in terms of the happiness they find in their lives. ~~~~~ QUESTION 6: Considering all the social contacts you have in your life (socializing with friends, family members, people on the job, the neighbors, acquaintances, in organizations, etc.), how active is your social life? ANSWERS: A. I have little in the way of a social life; B. My social life is about average; C. I socialize a lot of the time. D. My social life is extremely active. (SCORING: A= minus 2, B=1, C=4, D=5) According to the research, the more time you spend socializing the happier you are likely to be. Typically, happy people live a busy and rewarding social life. Compared to others (particularly unhappy people), happy people spend a much larger amount of their time in social situations. On the job; in clubs and organizations; with their friends and family members: happy people tend to be highly social. In fact, as we shall study in detail later, an active and rewarding social-life may be one of the most important factors of all when it comes to happiness. ~~~~~~~ QUESTION 7: How would you describe your social personality? ANSWERS: A. I'm very outgoing, highly social, and seem to be quite popular; B. I'm somewhat outgoing, comfortable with others, and moderately popular; C. I'm not all that outgoing or talkative -- but I'm comfortable with people who know me well; D. I'm basically quiet, shy, and tend to be uncomfortable in social situations. (SCORING: Give yourself 5 points for an A, 3 points for a B, 1 point for a C, and 0 points for a D.)
  6. 6. Happy people enjoy an active social life -- and personality researchers find a good reasons for this. Happy people typically have a remarkably social personality. The studies we'll examine later, show that happy people are are gregarious and outgoing people; they love conversation and like meeting people; they have an easier time making friends; they are better able to make a favorable first impression; they are often rated as likable and popular; they have a good sense of humor and share it readily; they are more candid and honest; they are quite spontaneous and express their feelings freely; they are comfortable revealing themselves to others; they are seen as being kind and sympathetic by their friends; they are generally trusting and treat others with respect and acceptance; and, are viewed as valued friends. ~~~~~ QUESTION 8: How would you best describe your current love-life? ANSWERS: A. I'm married (or living together); B. I'm not married (or living together), but I'm involved with someone special these days; C. I'm single and there is no one special for me right now; D. I have recently lost, or have separated from, the one that I was in love with. (SCORING: A=5, B=4, C=0, D= minus 6). BONUS QUESTION 9: (This question is ONLY for those who answered either A or B to the question above): How happy are you with the relationship you're in? ANSWERS: A. Extremely happy; B. Very happy; C. Mildly happy; D. Not too happy; E. Very unhappy. (SCORING: A=8, B=6, C=3, D=0, E= minus 8.) If you don't have a current love-relationship, put a zero on line 9. If you're lucky enough to have a happy love-relationship in your life these days, you have the "Number One happiness-asset" the research has discovered to your credit. Of all the things psychologists have found to be associated with happiness, a close, rewarding love- relationship is ranked at the top. As we shall examine in detail later, study after study shows that that married people (or those in a close love-relationship) are happier than those alone. And (as Bonus Question 9 implies), the better that relationship is going, the happier its impact is. But love is a double-edged sword: as much happiness as good relationships bring -- bad, rancorous, and abusive relationships bring equally as much grief and unhappiness -- as we will explain later. ~~~~~
  7. 7. QUESTION 10: How well are your relationships going with your family members? ANSWERS: A. I'm really happy with my family relationships; B. I'm fairly satisfied with my family relationships; C. My family relationships are somewhat poor. D. My family life is a continuing source of pressure and discord. E. I have so little contact with my family, it hardly effects me. (SCORING: A=4, B=2, C=-1, D=-4, E=0.) Happiness hits pretty close to home, and to your relationships with your immediate family members. Happy people, according to the research, enjoy warm, supportive, and loving relations with their family members -- and generally maintain close, life-long family ties. As you can see, however, how much this factor effects you, depends on how close you are to your family. Looking at the points given above, the happiest situation is where you and your family get along well. This is particularly true if you actually live under the same roof with them. On the other hand, if there is little contact with your family, their effect on your happiness is probably neutral. The worst situation, of course, is where constant family contact produces nothing but stress and discord. ~~~~~~~~ QUESTION 11: How many children do you have? ANSWERS: A. none; B. one; C. two; D. three; E. four or more. (SCORING: A=0, B=0, C=0, D=0, E=0) Here may be a surprise. The research shows that having children apparently makes no difference to happiness! No child, one child, a few children, many children -- happiness levels are the same. Having children, or not, appears to be an equally happy choice, statistically speaking. As we shall talk of later, the lack of children is viewed as a freedom to some couples, yet a painful emptiness for others. On the other hand, having children is a joy for some parents, while a major source of stress and unhappiness for others. ~~~~~ QUESTION 12: How would you describe your sexual attitudes and activity-level? ANSWERS: A. I'm very conservative in my sexual attitudes and conduct; B. I'm moderately conservative; C. I guess I am about average in my sexual views and activity-level; D. I'm pretty open and liberal sexually; E. I have to admit, I'm very liberal in my sexual activity; F.
  8. 8. I am downright kinky -- anything goes as far as I'm concerned! (SCORING: Whether you checked A, B, C, D, E, or F -- give yourself a zero on this one.) Everybody likes to hear about sex! But there is hardly anything sensational to report regarding sex and happiness, so far in the data is concerned (in fact, I suspect my research staff insisted I include this question, just to spice-up this Chapter). Actually, the research evidence that we'll examine later indicates that sexual life-styles or preferences have little to do with personal happiness. ~~~~~ QUESTION 13: Where is your income-level? ANSWERS: A. Poverty-level; B. Below average; C. About average in income; D. A bit above average; E. Better than average; F. Well above average; G. Fairly wealthy; H. Extremely wealthy (I can't even count it all!) (SCORING: Give yourself these points: A= -5, B= -2, C=0, D=1, E=3, F=3, G=3, H=3) Everyone's heard that "Money can't buy happiness." Well, don't believe it! Income and wealth do make a difference. In general, the more you make, the happier you tend to be! But as the point-spread shows, the major effect of income and happiness hits most strongly at the bottom end of the economic ladder. Poverty clearly robs happiness. As you will read later in these Volumes, once an "adequate" income is met, more and more wealth appears to contributes little to greater happiness. ~~~~~ QUESTION 14: Regarding social status, I would probably classify myself as being: ANSWERS: A. Upper class; B. Upper middle class; C. Middle class; D. Lower middle class; E. Lower class. (SCORING: A=3, B=2, C=1, D=0, E= minus 1) World-wide research suggests that in virtually every nation in the world, persons of higher social status invariably report higher levels of happiness than persons of lower status. And although social ranking probably signifies less in the democratic, Western cultures than it does in many parts of the world, one's perceived social class still makes a noticeable contribution to one's happiness in life. ~~~~~
  9. 9. QUESTION 15: How would you rate the status and prestige of your occupation (or your main "work" in life, such as housewife, student, or retiree)? ANSWERS: A. High in prestige; B. Above-average in status; C. Average; D. Below average in prestige and status; E. I am currently retired; F. I am currently unemployed and want a job. (SCORING: A=3, B=1, C=0, D=0, E=1, F=minus 5) As the point-spread indicates, studies show that happy people typically hold higher status jobs. Researchers have examined the major occupational classifications and found, in general, that the higher a person's occupational status and job prestige is, the happier the person is. However, again the most pronounced happiness differences occur at the bottom. Taken in aggregate, the happiness differences between top-level professionals and low-level employees hardly compares to the happiness gulf that occurs between the employed (at any level) and the unemployed. ~~~~~~~~ QUESTION 16: How much satisfaction do you have with your present job? If you don't have regular employment, define your "job" as your major occupation (housewife, student, retiree, etc). ANSWERS: A. I love my job and couldn't be more satisfied; B. I like my job and am very satisfied with it; C. My job's "o.k." and I'm moderately satisfied; D. My job offers little satisfaction, but I find it acceptable for now; E. I hate my job! (SCORING: A=5, B=3, C=1, D=0, E=minus 2.) More important than job-prestige is job-satisfaction! Happy people characteristically report high levels of satisfaction with their job. Indeed, the happiest people actually love their work! Satisfying, rewarding work is one of the major cornerstones of happiness, and we'll come back to this important research finding many times before these Volumes are finished. ~~~~~ QUESTION 17: How much education have you attained? ANSWERS: A. Did not finish high school; B. High school graduate; C. Some college; D. Four-year college degree; E. Some post-graduate education; F. An advanced, post- graduate or professional degree.
  10. 10. SCORING: A=minus 1, B=0, C=0, D=1, E=1, F=2 Education is another of the variables that researchers have found associated with happiness, and in general, the finding is the more education one has, the happier one is in later life. But as you can see from the point-spread, the impact on overall happiness accrued through education appears somewhat minor compared to most of the other factors we've quizzed you about so far. ~~~~~ QUESTION 18: How successful do you feel personally? (Not how successful you appear publicly, but how successful are you in relation to the goals you have set for yourself?) ANSWERS: A. I've achieved all of my personal goals and I feel very successful! B. I have achieved most of my personal goals -- only a few remain. C. I feel moderately successful, yet, many of my personal goals still remain ahead of me. D. I've had only a few successes in life -- most of my personal goals have yet to be achieved. E. I feel like a failure in life -- I've hardly achieved any of my goals. SCORING: A=4, B=2, C=0, D=minus1, E=minus 2 Happy people get most everything they want in life! They are remarkably successful people. If you feel that way too, no doubt you're quite happy. And no wonder: getting what one wants, usually makes one happy! Certainly we've seen, through this quiz, a strong relationship between happiness and success. The data shows that high income, high social status, high occupational prestige, high social acceptance, and high educational attainment, all contribute to happiness. Yet here, as we see from the points we have given to the answers on this question, it is the accomplishment of our more personal goals that contribute to happiness the most. ~~~~~ QUESTIONS 19-23: Here are several quick questions in a row. Answer them "true" or "false." 19. I feel I'm a very capable and competent person.
  11. 11. 20. I am well organized and efficient. 21. I'm usually very energetic. 22. I have a lot of self-confidence. 23. My goals and my values are very clear to me. SCORING: On items 19-23, give yourself 1 point for each "TRUE" answer. Why are happy people so successful? Well, according to the collected research, happy people typically possess many of the qualities needed for success... As we shall examine more closely in later chapters, happy people tend to be more serious and deliberate in their planning; they prefer to plan things out than go by impulse; they make more long range commitments; they are punctual and efficient; they tend to overestimate the amount of time they will need to do their work; they are persistent in seeking goals; they're less quick to tire from their work; they show initiative and autonomy in their decision-making; they are industrious, assertive, forceful, spirited, able, responsible, cooperative, and mature; they have excellent self-direction; they are well organized; they are self confident; they deal effectively and fairly with others; they are good at defining their goals; they know their abilities; they are more certain of their attitudes, goals, and general philosophy-of-life; and they are well-directed toward their goals. Simply put, happy people tend to be highly competent people -- subsequent Chapters will give more detail... ~~~~~~~ QUESTION 24: How well do you think you would do on a standard intelligence test? ANSWERS: A. Above average; B. Within the average range; C. Below average. (SCORING: give yourself 0 points for A, B, or C.) There are no points given for this question because there appears to be no real relationship between happiness and native intelligence! Surprisingly, given the highly competent nature of happy people, they do not show themselves to be superior in such traditional measures like I.Q. tests, scholastic aptitude scores, and college grades. From
  12. 12. what the research can determine, such things as competency and success are acquired traits. They are not particularly bound to inborn intelligence or basic I.Q.. ~~~~~ QUESTION 25: How would you rate your current health? ANSWERS: A. Excellent; B. Good; C. Some minor problems; D. Rather poor; E. Extremely poor and painful ill- health. (Scores: A=0, B=0, C=0, D= minus 2, E= minus 6.) As one would imagine, good health contributes to happiness. Happy people typically enjoy good physical health, and are characterized as being vital, energetic, and zestful. Yet, as we shall see in later chapters, poor health robs happiness a lot more than good health helps it. People in poor health are usually quite unhappy. Yet people in good health can vary from the very happy to the chronically depressed. Apparently, good health helps as a prerequisite for happiness, but it is no guarantee of it. ~~~~~~~~ QUESTION 26: What is your age? ANSWERS: A. Under 12; B. 13-19; C. 20-30; D. 31-40; E. 41-50; F. 51-64; G. 65 or older. (SCORING: A=1, B=0, C=1, D=2, E=1, F=1, G= minus 2.) In general, the research shows that one's age matters little to happiness (when other socio-economic factors are eliminated). No matter how old you are, your chances for happiness are about the same. Still, there are some specific, age-related conditions which affect happiness which effect everyone. Though they are not significant, the point-spread above gives a hint to the typical pattern. Usually most people find the happiest periods of life fall from early adulthood to late middle-age, and the unhappier periods of life being in adolescence and old age. ~~~~~~ QUESTIONS 27- 45: How would you describe your personality? Answer the following set of questions with "TRUE" or "FALSE": 27. I'm an honest, open person.
  13. 13. 28. I like myself very much. 29. I accept my weak points and shortcomings. 30. I think I know myself pretty well. 31. I am a very optimistic person. 32. I generally do what I want to do. 33. My life is full of meaning and purpose. 34. My ambitions in life are fairly modest. 35. I always look on the "bright side" of things. 36. I hardly ever worry about things. 37. High achievements are not that important to me. 38. I tend to express my feelings and talk problems out. 39. I am usually the "real me" in most every situation. 40. I tend to like other people just the way they are. 41. I rarely think about what I lack in life. 42. I don't want much more from life than I already have. 43. I am very independent and self-sufficient. 44. What happens is always for the best. 45. It's more important be myself, than to please others. SCORING: for questions 27-45, give yourself 1 point for each "TRUE" answer.
  14. 14. Research shows that in addition to all the other fine things happy people have, they also have a personality that has many enviable characteristics. As the points suggest, the more true answers you gave, the more you have what might be called the "happy personality." What is "happy personality"? Well, some aspects, like social-orientation, personal competence, and success in the major areas of life, we've already touched upon. But there is a lot more... Although we will learn much more about the "happy personality" in the chapters that will come, for now, suffice it to say, that happy people have a high degree of self-respect and self-esteem; they know themselves well; they tend to have a great degree of insight into their personality; they're generally optimistic, but have more realistic ambitions; they have a strong sense of purpose and direction in life, yet they chart their own, independent course through it; and they tend to be more satisfied with what they have, than what they lack. ~~~~ QUESTION 46: If you underwent extensive psychological testing and diagnosis, how mentally healthy do you imagine the results would show you to be? ANSWERS: A. Extremely healthy and well adjusted; B. Above average in healthy adjustment; C. Average in mental health, about as well off as most other people; D. Probably a bit less well-adjusted than average; E. Fairly poor in adjustment, with numerous problems and current stresses to deal with; F. Very poor -- almost unable to cope with the pressures and emotional strains of life. (SCORING: A=6, B=3, C=0, D=0, E=minus 3, F=minus 6.) Happy people enjoy a remarkably high degree of mental health. Psychologists find they have all the characteristics which have clinically been associated with healthy adjustment. As we shall detail later, happy people have a high degree of emotional stability; an accurate, positive self-image; the realization of one's potential (what is called "self- actualization"); an integrated, cohesive personality; autonomous thought and action; accurate perceptions of the world; environmental and social effectiveness; good family relationships; meaningful social relationships; satisfactory job adjustment; and successful role adjustment. Compared to others, happy people have far fewer tensions, pressures, and emotional difficulties. They handle everyday problems well; they are not bothered by
  15. 15. strong fears; they're less burdened by guilt feelings; they have fewer resentments and regrets about their past; and they have less anxiety, fewer nervous habits, lower levels of psychosomatic symptoms, and worry. ~~~~~~~ HOW WELL DID YOU DO IN THE QUIZ? Now, it is time to score your responses. The procedure is easy, just add up the positive points you gave yourself and subtract any negative points from the total to arrive at your final score. Below are a series of interpretations of the various scoring ranges for the quiz. Before we talk about your score, however, remember this happiness test is not an official psychological test. It is merely an "informal index" of your happiness assets. It was devised to help you better understand what psychological researchers have discovered about happiness. It is not a professional happiness-diagnosis in any sense of the word. On the other hand, results of this quiz have been compared to some of the most reliable research measures of personal happiness (e.g., the Happiness Measures [235] and the Psychap Inventory [230]) and found to be fairly equivalent, thus your score should seem reasonably accurate to you. But, see for yourself... INTERPRETATION OF YOUR SCORE The highest possible score on the quiz is 99 POINTS. The lowest possible score on the quiz is minus -39 POINTS. The average, mid score on the quiz is around 32 POINTS. THE AVERAGE RANGE: The bulk of individuals taking this test (80% or so) score in the average range -- a range between minus -8 to a positive 72 POINTS.
  16. 16. If you scored within this range, you have as many happiness assets going for you as the vast majority of other people do, and, in theory, you should be as happy as most "average" people are. The higher your score is in this range, the more happiness assets you have. Conversely, the lower your score, the fewer happiness assets you have. But in either event -- for the sake this present Volume -- consider yourself "average" when it comes to happiness assets. What does it mean to be "average?" If you scored toward the midle of this "average range," we might extrapolate this to mean that you consider yourself "reasonably happy" -- and are about as happy as most of the people you know. It is not so much that you feel particularly happy all the time, it is rather that, overall, you are not consciously unhappy with the way your life is going. In the higher "average" range, we suggest that you likely consider yourself "pretty happy," generally speaking, and are fairly content and satisfied with your life. Your day-to-day mood is probably fairly happy. In the lower "average" range, we imagine that although you may not consciously consider yourself an unhappy person, you can't say you're very happy either. You may be a bit frustrated and dissatisfied with certain elements of your life and feel unhappy from time to time. THE HIGHER RANGE: scores from around 72 to 99 points are high scores and indicate that you possess most of the happiness assets found in the research. As a result, you should be quite content with your life and are among the top percentages of happy people. THE LOWER RANGE: scores from -8 to -39 points are low scores and indicate that you have very few happiness assets going for you. Such a score places you among those who generally describe themselves as stressed, dissatisfied, or unhappy people. ASSETS VS. REALITY: A NOTE OF CAUTION From the start, we've indicated that this was a test of your happiness "assets." It questions whether you possess various demographic characteristics the research has found most typical of happy poeple -- but it barely estimates how happy you actually are.
  17. 17. How can this be? In fact, as you shall discover in subsequent chapters, "assets" are only part of the happiness picture. They account for some of the happiness people achieve, but certainly not all. The reality is that research finds a number of happy people who have few of the happiness assets contained in the test -- and a number more unappy ones who appear to have most all of these assets. Perhaps you are one of these... In other words, actual happiness assets do not totally account for actual happiness results. Thus, no matter how important a part these "asset" questions may play, when it comes to happiness reality there is only one question that really matters... THE ULTIMATE QUESTION Therefore, here is you final, and clearly most important quiz-question of all. How happy a person are you? POSSIBLE ANSWERS: A. Extremely happy; B. Very happy; C. Pretty happy; D. Somewhat happy; E. Neutral (not particularly happy or unhappy); F. Somewhat unhappy; G. Pretty unhappy; H. Very unhappy. SCORING: There is no official scores for this answer, for the answer you gives here speaks for itself... It is the ultimate answer in this test on your happiness. Indeed, we might have saved ourselves a lot of time by simply asking this question to begin with. The results would have been practically the same (and in fact, the research would indicate that your answer to this question exactly matches the interpretation the full quiz provides above). It is such a basic question: "How happy are you?" Yet, it is also the most important interview question researchers have ever asked, for the answer reveals everything about a person's life. As simplistic as the the question is, it tells psychologists so very much. How happy a person is, says everything! In a nutshell, it reveals virtually everything about a person's entire life, as we shall see as these Volumes progress. Actually, there was hardly a reason for anyone to take this happiness quiz at all! For all practical purposes, this one question is all that's really important.
  18. 18. "How happy are you?" That is the ultimate question... NOW WHAT? Well, now it's on to the bulk of these Volumes where you'll learn, in quite specific detail, the psychological research findings which underlay the questions you've just answered. In particular, the remainder of this Volume -- The Nature of Happiness -- explains the entire scope of happiness research and its broadly applicable conclusions. But more helpfully, Volume II -- The Achievement of Happiness -- advances these broad research conclusions to a more practical program of techniques most anyone can utilize to improve their own happiness-status. You score here is a beginning... If you scored low, these Volumes should be especially instructive and helpful. Much of what you read will, perhaps, "hit" pretty hard -- as you learn more how much fortune and grace have contravened in your own possibilities for happiness. Yet, in a sense, these Volumes are written for your "happiness benefit" most of all! For it is for the unhappy that a true understanding of happiness can be most beneficial, especially when we get to the practical applications outlined in Volume II. Preliminary research suggests that Volume contains strategies that can actually turn a rather unhappy situation around to happiness. If you scored within an "average zone" (high or low), I suspect that you're probably most curious as to "why" you scored that way. And perhaps more curiously, why didn't you do better? If so, you'll find the remaining Chapters of the present Volume -- and the next -- most revealing. But although your reading will help find many explanations -- hopefully, it will also begin to reveal many happiness-potentials as well! Early in your reading, you'll discover that being "average" in happiness is actually a pretty poor state-of-affairs. Especially when one compares oneself to the "potential" for happiness that one might achieve with the knowledge regarding happiness these Volumes contain. But what if you're the rare among potential readers who scored toward the extremely happy end of the scorings? Should you discontinue your reading here? Well probably so, since (apparently) you're already pretty happy... Still, wouldn't you like to learn why you're as happy as you are?
  19. 19. It's to your benefit, as it is to any reader. Knowing the specifics about the nature of happiness is a value to all... For those who have it, happiness-wisdom provides the avenue to keep it. For those who lack it, happiness-wisdom provides the avenue to attain it. Let us, therefore, examine the research psychology of happiness and discover what it might hold for you... TO NEXT CHAPTER TO TABLE OF CONTENTS