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Laughter.docx

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Department
Health Sciences
Course
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Professor
Shauna Burke
Semester
Winter

Description
Laughter The Benefits of Happiness: Suggested that increases in happiness could lead to: - Longer life - Health - Resilience - Increased performance - Standard of living increases dramatically, yet happiness in industrialized countries has shown little increase over time The Pursuit of Happiness: - Many decisions are rooted in the desire to become happy - Often, the decisions we make fail at increasing happiness - Americans will spend $750 million on self-help books and more than 1 billion dollars on motivational speakers - Positive psychology (“science of happiness”) offered in many colleges and universities Where Are We Going Wrong?: Dr. Daniel Gilbert – blames culture, genes, and imagination 1. Culture - Buy bigger, newer, better things However: - “stuff” does not buy happiness - Money buys happiness for those who lack the basic needs - > $50,000 income: increase money does not equal happiness 2. Genes - Hardware us to reproduce However: - Children have small negative effect when parents asked about happiness “in the moment” - Does not mean that moments of happiness and joy do not exist 3. Imagination - When we envision future we see perpetual gloom or happily-ever after However: - Unhappiness and joy do not last as long as we expect - Ex. winning the lottery, becoming disabled What Makes Us Happy?: Research shows: 1. Age - Positively associated with happiness - Most happy = men age 65 and older - Least happy = men 18 to 29 2. Marital Status - Married people are often happier than single people 3. Education - College and university graduates are usually happier than those who don’t graduate 4. Religion - Religious people are often happier 5. Health - Healthier people are happier Happiness: Nature vs. Nurture: - Studies of twins suggest that we all have an innate level of happiness - Possible to lift our biological set range of happiness, at least to some extent, if we work at it Happiness Around the World: - People express fundamental emotions in similar ways all over the world - All cultures – happiness depends on close family and other human relationships - Recent study by social psychologist Adrian White (world map of happiness) - Used statistical data and subjective reponses of 80,000 people to map out well-being in 178 countries - Developed in part due to increase political interest in using measure of happiness as a national indicator along with measures of wealth Results: - Strongest determinants of national happiness: 1. Health levels 2. Prosperity 3. Access to basic education - Population size – smaller countries scored better while the largest populations fared worse Happiness Rankings: 1. Denmark 2. Switzerland 3. Australia 10. Canada 23. United States 41. United Kingdom 82. Japan 125. India 178. Burundi Happiness: Advice from the Experts: - Find small things we can do every day that bring us joy - Nurture relationships: family and friends are crucial - Find meaning in life: religion, spiritually, philosophy of life - Set goals - To predict how happy something will make you, talk to others who have experienced it - New car vs. trip to Europe (new car will bring immediate happiness but will be around longer, to make you mad) Happiness Index: The Smile: Two types of smiles:
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