Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Science of Happiness: Why Does Happiness Matter?

9/21/15: What Good Is Happiness?

Happy Tomatos
Happy Tomatos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So we're finally onto the next section (yay!) of Week 1 (boo!). We're going to learn about the benefits of happiness (other than, you know, being happy).

So we start with another video.  I think I'm going to knit while I watch this one.  

OK, so apparently, happiness is good for physical health (I do wonder about the whole "correlation is not causation" thing), creativity, social capital, your work life, and even the health of your culture.  On the one hand, that's pretty cool.

On the other hand, no pressure, right?

Next there's a selection from The How of Happiness, which I am going to read in it's entirety but which I'm not going to pick apart right now.  Read the book if you like. The reading just summarizes what the video just covered.

Now, another video. This one explains that about 40% of our happiness level is determined by choices we make, and that science is studying those choices.

Another video.  This one is about other reasons why happiness should be studied: in the past 30 years, loneliness, narcissism, materialism, and income inequality have risen (and he's not even blaming the millennials for this!).

Finally, there's a survey, which is a simple question: if you had a button that you could press and it would make you as happy as you wanted to be, as often as you wanted to be, would you press it?

I think I would, but I'd try to do so sparingly. If I spent all day pressing the button, I'd never get anything done. But I also wouldn't care... yeah, I am not going down this rabbit hole right now.

We finish this unit with a problem set that just quizzes me on the material we've covered so far. I got both questions right.

And so we move on in the unit....

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