Psychology

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Happiness

Defining happiness can seem as elusive as achieving it. We want to be happy, and we can say whether we are or not, but can it really be defined, studied and measured? And can we use this learning to become happier? Everyone has their own way of being happy, therefore everyone has their own way of defining what happiness is. Some say, yes you can define happiness, and others may say no. Is it because it is too hard to define or because they are too lazy to try. Happiness is generally considered an ultimate goal of life; virtually everybody wants to be happy€ (Frey, Stutzer). The United States Declaration of Independence it even mentions "the pursuit of Happiness. We can learn a lot about happiness and the effects it has on our everyday lives. Economic policies can contribute to the happiness factor as well. Government policies can affect unemployment rates, distribution of wealth, and an individual's participation in the political process. This paper will examine three subjects regarding happiness. The first is, whether or not higher income contributes to happiness. Second, I will examine unemployment and happiness. Last, how politics affects happiness.

Psychologists say yes, and that there are good reasons for doing so. Positive psychology is “the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.” (PBS) These researchers’ work includes studying strengths, positive emotions, resilience, and happiness. Their argument is that only studying psychological disorders gives us just part of the picture of mental health. We will learn more about well-being by studying our strengths and what makes us happy. The hope is that by better understanding human strengths, we can learn new ways to recover from or prevent disorders, and may even learn to become happier. So how do these researchers define happiness? Psychologist Ed Diener, author of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, describes...
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