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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY336 Positive Psychology Lecture #2 January 19, 2011 Meaning of happiness: Hanging out with friends Laughing Retiring young and wealthy Maximizing good times TGIF Is it the number of peaks? Height of peaks? Smoothing out valleys? Well-being entails emotion and sense of meaning What is it missing? Consistency (649 lifestyle) Empty dream Contrast Emptiness How peoples lives turn out (i.e. crackhead life) Happiness: Only a small fraction of time = happiness but it weighs a lot Ultimate happiness is almost impossible and superficial Most people are consumed with negative emotion o Anxiety is a surge of negative emotion o Dissatisfaction different kinds of hunger and craving o Anger o Judgement Our goal is to take our current life circumstances and figure out how to smooth out the valleys and remove negative emotion o Record how much time you spend on doing stuff you love o Certain amount of business and stuff to do o Certain amount of inevitable hardship (i.e. betrayal) o Zero space in life: getting from point a point b Well-being is a question of when not why or what. Science of well-being must have a flexible definition: o Crises: important part of your life o Happiness: small part of your life o Zero times: can become far more enjoyable Study of emotion: high arousal + low arousal Universal knowledge = objectivity Story of Jane and Ned: Stage of Life Jane Ned Who is happier on the well-being scale? Childhood - More depth + vision + goals - Lower socioeconomic status Ned is enjoying life more at this point higher achiever PAARTYYY - More meaningful events - Lots of positive emotion more mind-blowing experiences - Lots of satisfaction - Lots of anxiety and disappointment 20s - Has more skills and experience - Lifestyle = mediocre Social spheres changing Jane Mid 20s - Still anxious - Lower happiness Jane is way higher Its superficial to say that Neds well-being at the beginning caused Neds less well-being in the last 10 years. Subjective well-being (hedonic): subjective; happy times, lack of boredom; presence of positive emotion and lack of negative emotion Can be measured empirically on scales
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