What Is Happiness? To find happiness, we have to understand what it is (or can be).

What Is Happiness? To find happiness, we have to understand what it is (or can be).

via Psychology Today by Benjamin Radcliff

This post discusses three different ways psychologists conceive of happiness, with the hope of drawing some tangible lessons about happiness for real people in their day-to-day lives. These ideas (and many others) are discussed in depth in my book on Happiness: A Quick Immersion, co-authored with my colleague at Notre Dame, Amitava Dutt. (There is also a Spanish language edition.

What Is Happiness?

Psychologists distinguish different kinds or levels of happiness. One popular categorization suggests three levels: The first involves the balance between our transient emotions, both positive (such as joy) or negative (e.g., anxiety); the second refers to our cognitive self-judgments about our life in a general, long-term sense; and the third focuses on “flourishing” and finding meaning in life. The first is thus about emotions, the second about rational self-reflection, and the third about the fulfillment of human potential.

The first level refers to one’s current emotional state. If we had data on current emotions for a person over time, we could calculate their general happiness by aggregating such data. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman argues that this approach provides an “objective” happiness measure since the procedure would yield the same scores for any other person reporting the same balance of positive/negative emotions.

Take, for example, the Experience Sampling Method for applying this idea, which collects information on people’s feelings in real-time as they go about their lives. One can imagine doing this easily enough with their cellphone. To the extent which this model captures at least part of what we think of as happiness, considering its logic may help us understand where happiness comes from, and thus how to enjoy more of it…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

#happiness #positivepsychology #psychology