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2012.04.10 - HSci 1001 Lecture Review Notes.docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

HealthSci Lecture Review Notes Happiness, Laughter and Health  Happiness can lead to: o Longer life o Better health o Resiliency o Increased performance  Standard of living has increased dramatically, but happiness in industrialized countries has not had a significant increase over this time  Americans spend $750 million on self-help books and over 1 billion on motivational speakers  Factors affecting happiness: o Culture – we always want to buy bigger, newer and better things  Money only buys happiness for people who lack the basic needs  After people reach $50,000 income, more money does not increase happiness o Genes – we are hardwired to reproduce  Children have a small negative effect on parents happiness (in the moment) o Imagination – we envision the future as perpetual gloom or happily-ever after  Unhappiness and joy do not last as long as we expect  Example: disabled people are typically just as happy as others  Happiness increases with age o Most happy = men aged 65+ o Least happy = men aged 19-29  Married people are happier than single people  College/University graduates are happier than people without a degree  Religious individuals are happier  Healthy individuals are happier  Studies suggest that we all have an innate level of happiness o It is possible to fluctuate between and around our biological set range of happiness  People express fundamental emotions in a similar way all over the world o In all cultures, happiness depends on close family and other human relationships  World Map of Happiness – recent study by Adrian White o Used data and responses of 80,000 people to map well-being in 178 countries o The strongest determinants of happiness in countries were: health, wealth and access to basic education o Smaller countries were happier, while large populations were less happy o #1 = Denmark – small, good health care and education, wealthy, and low levels of poverty o #178 = Burundi – isolated, stricken by war, and low availability of resources  There are two types of smiles: o Duchenne smile – genuine; corners of mouth turn up and skin around eyes wrinkle  The facial muscles involved are difficult to control voluntarily (hard to fake) o Pan American smile – inauthentic; expression of courtesy and politeness rather than joy  Recent study looked through 141 year book photos from 1960 and separated Duchenne and Pan American smilers o All the individuals were contacted at age 27, 43 and 52 o Duchenne smilers – more likely to be married and stay married; more likely to experience increased sense of personal well-being  Humour – the ability or quality of people, objects or situations to evoke feelings of amusement in other people  Sense of humour – the ability to experience humour, a quality which all people share o Increases overall health and quality of life o Increases self-esteem and ability to relax o Decreases loneliness, depression, and stress o Decreases psychological symptoms related to negative life events  Laughter – a function of humour o 30x more likely to occur in a social context than alone o
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