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Happiness and Positive Psychology - Week 14.docx

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 260
Lara Aknin

Happiness and Positive Psychology 4/8/2013 12:31:00 PM Do people know what makes them happy?  Students read descriptions of four experimental conditions o $5 prosocial/personal and $20 prosocial/personal o Students thought that spending more money on themselves would make them more happy  Prosocial behaviour showed higher rates of happiness  Intuition was wrong  We overestimate extent and duration of emotional impact from major life events o Reactions of happiness or sorrow are much more short-lived Does happiness matter?  Seek it to feel good  Promotes creativity  May promote longevity o The Nun Stud  Convent entry: autobiography  Coded for positive emotions  Success  People who are more happy will create happiness in those around them and in turn, happy friends/family will make you happy!? Review & Conclusion  Two most important themes  Power of the Situation o Often overlooked o We don’t tend to appreciate the extent that it shapes us  Importance of Subjective construal o The way we interpret the situation matters more than the dynamics/details of the situation itself Paradox?  Social psychology course teaches you about the power of social influence  Best to believe that we are in control of our behaviour, even exaggerate this control o Does the situation simply drive our behaviour?  Solution o Recognizing the power of social influence gives people MORE control over their lives o People who recognize social influences are better able to resist them  Example; Beaman et al. study on learning about bystander intervention research  Many things interfere with prosocial behaviour  Learning about the tree will allow an increase of prosocial behaviour after knowing about certain variables that could have skewed their behaviour Ten Main themes/Key points to Remember 10. We should be Tolerant of Others: People who do bad things are not necessarily bad people  Stanford Prison Experiment  Milgram experiment  The fundamental attribution error
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