Monday, July 24, 2006

happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/

sorry about all the exclamation marks. i just get so happy when my happiness gets validated. i discovered an article in the latest discovery (ironic.) magazine about clinical studies regarding happiness. there is even a questionairre on the site to evaluate your level of happiness. you have to register which is a bit of a pain and i haven`t yet.......but i will, and take the test to see how much of a grinning idiot i am.
let me know how you guys make out if you take the test.
it is refreshing to see such work in such a traditionally humourless environment. one of the sure fire ways to kill your sense of humour is to work with statistics all day.

7 comments:

Yves said...

I'll try it and report back but I don't care to have my happiness validated via others' criteria.

Yves said...

Hm. I registered and started filling in my answers. It was rather pointless though. Asking: "Are you happy?" "Yes." and then presumably coming up with a verdict which says, "You are happy." Yawn.

dr.alistair said...

we do need some validation though....it`s part of the frailty of the human condition. i was surprised to see a study on happiness at the phd level though and, well, tests are kinda fun.

dr.alistair said...

i must admit that i haven`t got back to the test yet. shame it`s so tautological.........

Yves said...

Apologies, Dr A, for my dismissive answer re the questionnaire. It wasn’t tautological, so much as prejudging, in its definitions of the component parts of happiness. Me, I’m torn between saying happiness is an eternal mystery, a question that cannot be fully answered, and offering up my own alternative explanation. Which is . . .

. . . that you can be happy in pain, discomfort, privation etc – things which in our “advanced industrial society” we are trained to dread, and spend our life insuring against. Of course that is all propaganda for the products which keep the wheels of the advanced industrial society turning.

Happiness, I would argue, is not incompatible with simultaneous misery, furstration, stress, disappintment, and a mild infection of despair. I see this in myself, for I embrace these emotions when I engage in my recently adopted hobby of sketching in oil pastels. I forgot to mention fear – there is a lot of that too. I’m impelled to seek out an activity which challenges me in an extreme way, as dangerous sports, or political careers do for others. I don’t do this stuff in search of happiness but in expression of happiness. I feel driven to it in an intoxication of creativity. It’s the same when I undertake, as I recently did, a commission to develop a computer program desperately needed by a client in an impossibly short time. There was money involved in that, and I was happy to earn money (a rare event these days!) to know I can still do that stuff, to work like a maniac 12 hours a day, starting at 4am, to produce a result of which I could be proud. But I went through agonies too.

So perhaps the questionnaire was right after all, in picking on certain things as indicators of happiness and not others. It never asked me if I had enough to eat, or had a big soft sofa to sit on . . . Perhaps I’ll return and do the whole thing . . .

Yves said...

Apologies, Dr A, for my dismissive answer re the questionnaire. It wasn’t tautological, so much as prejudging, in its definitions of the component parts of happiness. Me, I’m torn between saying happiness is an eternal mystery, a question that cannot be fully answered, and offering up my own alternative explanation. Which is . . .

. . . that you can be happy in pain, discomfort, privation etc – things which in our “advanced industrial society” we are trained to dread, and spend our life insuring against. Of course that is all propaganda for the products which keep the wheels of the advanced industrial society turning.

Happiness, I would argue, is not incompatible with simultaneous misery, frustration, stress, disappintment, and a mild infection of despair. I see this in myself, for I embrace these emotions when I engage in my recently adopted hobby of sketching in oil pastels. I forgot to mention fear – there is a lot of that too. I’m impelled to seek out an activity which challenges me in an extreme way, as dangerous sports, or political careers do for others. I don’t do this stuff in search of happiness but in expression of happiness. I feel driven to it in an intoxication of creativity. It’s the same when I undertake, as I recently did, a commission to develop a computer program desperately needed by a client in an impossibly short time. There was money involved in that, and I was happy to earn money (a rare event these days!) to know I can still do that stuff, to work like a maniac 12 hours a day, starting at 4am, to produce a result of which I could be proud. But I went through agonies too.

So perhaps the questionnaire was right after all, in picking on certain things as indicators of happiness and not others. It never asked me if I had enough to eat, or had a big soft sofa to sit on . . . Perhaps I’ll return and do the whole thing . . .

dr.alistair said...

yeas, cultural programming is a major part of what we struggle with. people are full ofthier pre-conceptions of the way things should be......and when they aren`t, then go directly to unhappy and decend into depression. i choose to choose happiness for no reason.