05 Aug Are we happier when we spend more time with others?
via Our World in Data
In 1938, a group of Harvard researchers decided to start a research program to track the lives of a group of young men, in what eventually became one of the longest and most famous longitudinal studies of its kind. The idea was to track the development of a group of teenage boys through periodic interviews and medical checkups, with the aim of understanding how their health and well-being evolved as they grew up.1
Today, more than 80 years later, it is one of the longest running research programmes in social science. It is called the Harvard Study of Adult Development and it is still running. The program started with 724 boys, and researchers continue to monitor today the health and well-being of those initial participants who are still alive, most in their late 90s.2
This is a unique scientific exercise – most longitudinal studies do not last this long because too many participants drop out, researchers move on to other projects (or even die), or the funding dries up.
So what have we learned from this unique study?
Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study, summarized – in what is now one of the most viewed TED Talks to date– the findings from decades of research. The main result, he concluded, is that social connections are one of the most important factors for people’s happiness and health. He said: “Those who kept warm relationships got to live longer and happier, and the loners often died earlier”.
Here I take a closer look at the evidence and show more research that finds a consistent link between social connections and happiness. But before we get to the details, let me explain why I think this link is important…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE