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Topic 12: Three Factors in Happiness

by: Alicia Rinaldi

Topic 12: Three Factors in Happiness PSY 311

Marketplace > University of Miami > Psychlogy > PSY 311 > Topic 12 Three Factors in Happiness
Alicia Rinaldi
GPA 3.7
Ray Winters

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About this Document

Description of the three factors of happiness: life circumstances, genetics, and intentions.
Ray Winters
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alicia Rinaldi on Tuesday September 8, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 311 at University of Miami taught by Ray Winters in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see Emotion in Psychlogy at University of Miami.

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Date Created: 09/08/15
Topic 12 Three Factors in Happiness How do research psychologists measure happiness Selfreport each individual is given a questionnaire The score obtained is referred to as the person s subjective sense of well being 0 Examples of items from happiness studies rate on agreedisagree scale 0 In most ways my life is close to my ideal life 0 The conditions of my life are excellent 0 So far I have gotten the important things I want in life 0 lfl could live my life over I would change almost nothing 3 Major Factors that In uence a Person s Happiness subjective well being 0 Life circumstances refers to what a person s life situation is right now 0 Rich or poor married or single male or female age health status ethnicity education level Genetics inborn characteristics of the individual referred to as temperament 0 Ex fearfulness emotional excitability energy level competitiveness sociability 0 An individual s temperament is a major factor in the emotions and moods a person experiences on a regular basis 0 Temperament refers to a component of personality that is more or les inborn innate rather than learned a Intentions choices you make in your life 0 Critically dependent on a person s implicational beliefs about self world and others their world view vision of reality and hierarchy of values De nitions of World View 1 The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world 2 A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group 3 A theory of the world used for living in the world a framework of ideas amp attitudes about the world ourselves and life a comprehensive system of beliefs with answers for a wide range of questions 4 The basic way of interpreting events that pervades a culture so thoroughly that it becomes a culture s concept ofreaity what is good what is important what is sacred what is real Life Circumstances Importance to Subjective Well Being Does money bring happiness 0 Since WWII o The income of Americans has tripled o The size of the typical new house has doubled o More electronic devices and other gadgets and appliances to bring personal pleasure o The level of happiness has not changed during that time period 0 Only extremes rich and poor show differences 0 500050000 versus 50000 to 5 million money can be extremely important to happiness for someone who doesn t have much 0 once you reach about 50k you won t nd a difference in happiness if you increase the money more pursuit of money does not bring happiness related to intentions Life Circumstances Best Predictors of Happiness poor predictors gender income education level ethnicity occuanon o statistically signi cant predictors marriage level of religious activity extraversion age happier after 50 happily married a lot happier objective life circumstances account for only 10 of happiness 0 an individual s happiness should be stable over many years Stability Life circumstances can be different for someone when she is 20 years old compared to when she is 40 How stable is an individual s happiness over time o The best predictor of happiness is an individual s previous score on the selfreport measure even if the score is 20 years old 0 A persons happiness is extremely stable over time 0 Lyken39s Set Point Theory positive and negative life experiences change an individual s subjective sense of well being but the change is only temporary whether the experiences are positive or negative 0 The brain regulates happiness like a heatingcooling system regulates room temperature 0 There s a set point that is always returned to 0 quotthis too will passquot quotgood things don t lastquot Habituation amp Changes in Adaptation Level Habituation the magnitude of an emotional response diminishes after repeated elicitation of the emotion a reward becomes less rewarding after experiencing it a number of times Adaptation level theory a judgment about the value of a positive experience is based on one s most recent experiences with reward emotional value of positive experiences is determined by comparing the experience with recent positive expedences 0 Going to a restaurant for pizza when you rarely go out to dinner vs going out for pizza when you frequently dine out college example eating McDonalds every day then going out for pizza with friend Lottery winners report that experiences that gave them pleasure in the past are no longer pleasurable reduction in the number of experiences that can be rewarding because their most recent experiences led to an increase in the adaptation level 0 The adaptation level of lottery winners is higher than people who have not won the lottery BUT ALSO the adaptation level of people who dine frequently at restaurants is higher than people who rarely go out for dinner 0 Some exceptions to Lyken s Set Point Theory sometimes after these events you don t return to set point 0 Loss of loved one particularly a child orjob 0 Noise long commutes interpersonal con ict Second Factor In uencing Happiness Genetics 0 Studies by Lyken and colleagues of 4000 sets of identical twins and fraternal twins indicate that 50 of one s satisfaction with life comes from genetics Third Factor Intentions Intentions account for 40 of a person s happiness 0 If intentions are important to happiness differences in individual goals and values should be important to happiness 0 0 Studies of college students over 20 years indicate that students who had the goal of making money were not as happy 20 years after graduating from college as those students who had other goals Studies also indicate that people who pursue happiness as a goal are less happy than those who pursue other goals 0 If intentions are important to happiness people in some cultures may be happier than those in other cultures because of differences in their value hierarchies and world views O O O Pursuit of happiness is a primary goal in western cultures Asian countries prefer a sense of contentment from doing their duty toward family and community Happiest countries Colombia Puerto Rico Denmark Ireland Iceland Mexico Switzerland People in Latin American countries are happier than other regions Last happy ex communist countries Ukraine Russia Romania Wealthiest countries happier than poorest countries at the extremes only 0 If intentions are important values embraced by some countries should lead to a high level of happiness among its citizens compared to those countries that don t embrace those values 0 People in countries which equal rights are conferred to minorities and women are happier than those countries that don t Summary 3 Factors In uencing Happiness 10 life circumstances 50 genetics 40 intentions


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