It has long been known that happiness depends on many different life circumstances.
Now scientists have developed a mathematical equation that can predict momentary delight. They found that participants were happiest when they performed better than expected during a risk-reward task. Brain scans also revealed that happiness scores correlated with areas known to be important for well-being. The team says the equation, published in PNAS Journal, could be used to look at mood disorders and happiness on a mass scale. It could also help the UK government analyse statistics on well-being, which they have collected since 2010.
By Courtney Seiter for the Buffer Blog
Every day it seems like we feel hundreds of different emotions – each nuanced and specific to the physical and social situations we find ourselves in.
According to science, it’s not that complicated by a long shot. A new study says we’re really only capable of four “basic” emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.
But much like the “mother sauces” of cooking allow you to make pretty much any kind of food under the sun, these four “mother emotions” meld together in myriad ways in our brains to create our layered emotional stews.
Robert Plutchik’s famous “wheel of emotions” shows just some of the well known emotional layers.
In this post we’ll take a close look at each of the four emotions, how they form in the brain and the way they can motivate us to surprising actions. Read More
Photos by: BeiBei Song, 2011
Denmark has firmly established its reputation as the happiest country in the world, ranked consistently on top of indices from the World Map of Happiness, to the most recent World Happiness Report 2013.
Those passionate about urban bicycling know Denmark as the modern day “Bicycle Kingdom”, as can be evidenced by these photos I took in Copenhagen streets in the fall of 2011.
Those who care about politics with a worldly view would also know Denmark for its strong social welfare benefits to its citizens, similar to its Scandinavian neighbors such as Sweden and Norway.
While the bicycle maybe a manifestation of the Danes’ happiness, as ABC journalists Bill Weir and Sylvia Johnson wisely observed:
“And perhaps the bicycle is the best symbol of Danish happiness. Danes can all afford cars, but they choose bikes — simple, economical, nonpolluting machines that show no status and help keep people fit.”
… the strong social welfare explains the socio-political construct as a foundation of the happy citizenry, according to Benjamin Radcliff, a political science professor, and author of a new book ‘The Political Economy of Human Happiness: How Voters Choices Determine the Quality of Life.”
The radio program “Here and Now” recently interviewed him about his findings on societal happiness. Read More