06 Mar The State of Human Happiness
Psychologists have been fond of stating in recent years that human happiness, or what psychologists call subjective well-being, is largely independent of our life circumstances. The wealthy aren”t much happier than the middle class, married people aren”t much happier than single people, healthy people aren”t much happier than sick people, and so on.
One might reasonably conclude, therefore, that changes in life circumstances would not have long-term effects on our happiness. This indeed has been the dominant model of subjective well-being: People adapt to major life events, both positive and negative, and our happiness pretty much stays constant through our lives, even if it is occasionally perturbed. Winning the lottery won”t make you happier in the long run (goes the theory), and while a divorce or even a major illness will throw your life into upheaval for a while, your happiness level will eventually return to where it was at before-that is, its set point.
But new research, and reexamination of old research, is challenging some of the claims of set-point theory.
To read more from this happiness story – click here.