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Happiness

Researchers at the University of Vermont have developed the Hedonometer, which measures gl...

Is it possible to measure people’s levels of happiness based on the online data they produce? The team behind Hedonometer thinks so. Conceived by Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth at the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab, the software powering the platform, which recently went live, not only measures human happiness but does it in real time, too.  Read More

A recent study suggests that playing relaxing video games, such as Endless Ocean, leaves p...

Although you might have a big grin on your face as you're blowing away your opponents when playing Halo, you would actually be happier if you were playing a game like Endless Ocean, in which you interact with marine life - at least, that's what Ohio State University's Brad Bushman will tell you. The professor of communication and psychology conducted two studies, each with over 100 subjects, and has concluded that playing relaxing, nonviolent video games leaves people in a happier, more sociable mood than if they had played fast, violent games.  Read More

New research published in two studies suggests that smoking may also affect another vital ...

New research published in two studies suggests that smoking may also affect another vital organ: the brain. In one study, smoking was found to thin the brain cortex in an area suggested to be linked to addiction, meaning long-term smokers could become more prone to addiction the longer they continue to smoke. In the second, successful quitters were found to enjoy the most happiness during periods of abstinence, while a subsequent return to smoking was found to depress mood, suggesting that perceived psychological dependence on smoking as a mood enhancer is in fact quite the reverse.  Read More

Princeton study shows that the perceived link between money and happiness is mostly an ill...

Money won't make you happy, or at least, not as happy as you might think. A study by Princeton University researchers has shown that the link between earning more money and day-to-day happiness is a tenuous one – and extra dollars in your pocket doesn't necessarily translate to spending more time doing the things you enjoy.  Read More

Cornell's study indicates that experiences tend to result in more happiness than material ...

They say money can't buy you happiness, but if your money is spent on 'experiential purchases' and not consumer goods, then perhaps it can. Research from Cornell University has found that spending money on material goods only brings short term happiness, while experiences provide greater satisfaction long term.  Read More

The emoticon isn't the only way to gauge happiness online

A mathematician and computer scientist working in the Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont have created a remote-sensing mechanism that examines the content of blogs to measure the emotional levels of millions of people. The result is the ‘We Feel Fine’ system, which purports to give an indication of how people around the world are feeling.  Read More

Experiences, not possessions, lead to greater happiness

Can money make us happy if we spend it on the right purchases? New research suggests buying life experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness. The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs.  Read More

Evidence based happiness advice: a special issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies

March 6, 2007 For most of modern civilization, efforts to understand the human psyche have concentrated on understanding the downsides of anger, depression, anxiety and mental illness. In more recent times, there has been a great deal of scientific exploration of what makes people happy. In our increasingly complex society, happiness is not the simple product of favourable circumstance. Well-being is dependent on making the right individual choices. Handling freedom is not always easy and that has created a demand for happiness advice. Philosophers, psychologists and spiritual thinkers offer happiness counsel, but their widely differing views have never been empirically scrutinized. A special issue on Happiness Advice of the Journal of Happiness Studies published online this week, fills this gap, by comparing the advice given with what is known about the conditions of happiness observed in empirical research.  Read More

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