Posts Tagged ‘Psychological Science’

Is Happiness Having What You Want, Wanting What You Have, Or Both?

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Some argue that happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. This maxim sounds reasonable enough, but can it be tested, and if so, is it true?

It turns out it can be tested. Texas Tech University psychologist Jeff Larsen and Amie McKibban of Wichita State University asked undergraduates to indicate whether they possessed 52 different material items, such as a car, a stereo or a bed.

Their results, which appear in the April issue of the Association for Psychological Science’s journal, Psychological Science, suggest that people can grow accustomed to their possessions and thereby derive less happiness from them.

They also suggest, however, that people can continue to want the things they have and that those who do so can achieve greater happiness.

“Simply having a bunch of things is not the key to happiness,” Larsen said. “Our data show that you also need to appreciate those things you have. It’s also important to keep your desire for things you don’t own in check.”

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Genes Hold The Key To How Happy We Are, Scientists Say

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Happiness in life is as much down to having the right genetic mix as it is to personal circumstances according to a recent study.

Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh working with researchers at Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia found that happiness is partly determined by personality traits and that both personality and happiness are largely hereditary.

Using a framework which psychologists use to rate personalities, called the Five-Factor Model, the researchers found that people who do not excessively worry, and who are sociable and conscientious tend to be happier.

They suggested that this personality mix can act as a buffer when bad things happen, according to the study published in the March issue of Psychological Science.

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