Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Science of Happiness: Why Do Social Connections Foster Happiness?

10/4/15: Three Good Things: Did You Try It?

Why yes, I have!

Three Good Things:
organic Heirloom tomatoes at Slow Food Nation'...
organic Heirloom tomatoes at Slow Food Nation's garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Fresh vegetables! My parents have a plot at their church's community garden, so after church they loaded us up with fresh-picked heirloom tomatoes.  Yum! This happened because my parents had to harvest anyway.
  2. Burger King.  What can I say?  That Whopper Junior really hit the spot as we drove home. This happened because I decided we should grab food rather than waiting until we got home.
  3. A nap. I was tired; I took a nap; I felt better.  That seems pretty self-explanatory.

Moving right along.  Next up is a video about human evolution, and how being social is in out DNA. Hmm.  They say white people are more likely to have neanderthal DNA.  I wonder if I just missed out on the whole "super-social gene."  But speculating like that is junk science at best, so let's see what the actual video has to say.

So basically, anthropologists and primatologists have found a few tendencies that show up among primates and especially among humans:
  1. We're a caretaking species.  We have really vulnerable babies, and we extend the tendency toward anyone who needs help.
  2. In the grand scheme of animals, we're actually a pretty egalitarian species.  That might be why increasing income inequality makes us unhappy -- because we're literally not wired for it.
  3. We're also a forgiving and reconciling species. We fight and we move, but we don't just fight or move -- we make treaties, we work it out. I mean, 70 years later, look at US relations with Germany and Japan. I guess another species would have just taken the genocide route without a second thought. Well, I can muse on this for  while -- there's other directions I can go -- but we need to move on to the next point.
  4. We're a very coordinated species. We imitate each other, on purpose or otherwise.  It's why you yawn when someone around you does.  It's why LOLcats are even a thing. It's probably why language exists.
So that's interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment