According to the official definition of happiness, happiness is a state of complete contentment that is characterized by its stability and persistence. Brief satisfaction is not enough to be happy. So it is a transitional state that is difficult to measure!
Despite advances in science, brain imaging, no specific measure can measure a person’s happiness. To measure happiness, it is sometimes enough to answer these simple questions: Are you happy? How high are you on a scale from 1 to 10? But what is it then to be happy, happiness is not the same from person to person?
It seems difficult to answer this question, but scientists have addressed this question. Norbert Schwarz, Senior Professor in the Department of Psychology and the University of Southern California’s USC Marshall School of Business, offers a number of studies that tend to determine happiness. Or more precisely, how people rate their happiness in their lives!
The study in question
The American psychologist tries to study the effects of moods on the way in which they cause satisfaction. To assess this satisfaction, the psychologist asked the participants to make a few photocopies … He had discreetly placed a 10-cent coin on the plate of the copier for half of the participants.
And the results are pretty surprising!
10 cents! 10 cents was enough to make contestants believe they were lucky! Then the psychologist deposited chocolate bars, asked the participants about the victory or defeat of their favorite team … But also with a great sun or a rain shower … And he found that the external events influence the degree of satisfaction!
Don’t confuse mood and happiness … Image credit: Shutterstock / Minerva Studio
The conclusion of the researchers!
In the present moment, our mood seems to be determined between 41% and 53% of our sense of satisfaction. And researchers give two possible answers to this feeling!
Knowing that you are happy is difficult to determine and almost impossible to assess. We therefore rely on the emotions of the present moment to determine our level of happiness. Obviously, measured happiness will be more intense after good news than after bad! The general condition of the person also influences the degree of happiness. So, if a person is of a cheerful nature, they will remember the positive words in a list of words that correspond to the rhetoric of the mood. Conversely, sad people tend to remember negative words. The days when the mood is good will therefore be more conducive to measured happiness!
Another lead, that of Daniel Kahneman!
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize in Economics, American-Israeli psychologist and economist, professor at Princeton University, advocates the principle of the “illusion of fixation”. This illusion of fixation would come from the question surrounding the question asked … So when you ask someone whether it is better to live in Hauts-De-France or in the PACA region, the climate becomes the deciding factor be … So most people PACA reacts to the sun that is there. And that, even if the social conditions of people in one or the other region were the same!
In summary, the researchers believe that happiness can be measured, but that it invariably depends on external factors! So happiness is not rated, it is felt and you don’t need any scientific studies to find out!
The European Happiness Barometer (2015) / Infographic Credit: Florence Servan-Schreiber