Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is Happiness Overrated?

Shirley Wang's article,"Is Happiness Overrated," explains that "happiness as people usually think of it—the experience of pleasure or positive feelings [hedonic happiness]—is far less important to physical health than the type of well-being that comes from engaging in meaningful activity [eudaimonic happiness] ." Wang and other researchers in the positive psychology field have found that what brings you long term happiness, may not be condusive to short term happiness. A study published in the 2010 Clinical Psychology Review found that since 1938 symptoms of depression, paranoia, and psychopathology have increased among American college student. The increase may be due to our emphasis on material goods which is hedonic happiness. I found the findings to be interesting because researchers have found eudaimonic happiness (well-being) to affect aging and disease. For example, lower levels of eudaimonic happiness are associated with Alzheimers. Something for everyone to keep in mind!


Anna Mikhailovich said...

Side note- it is not realistic that everyone be happy all the time and hedonic and eudaimonic happiness do overlap. However, the purpose of the piece is to emphasis the importance of involving oneself in the community and helping others, as it brings long term well-being.

TJE said...

Obamacare includes mandatory participation in group happiness sessions as a cost savings measure. Failure to participate will result first in penalties/taxes and then referral of case to death panel for further action.