Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project

Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project Order Instructions: Research Project on happiness and life satisfaction’

Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project
Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project

In this project is to investigate the meanings and social patterning of happiness and life satisfaction.

Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project Sample Answer

Happiness and Life Satisfaction

What is Happiness? How is Happiness defined and measured? Is there a scientific way to operationalize the whole concept of happiness? These speculations about the entire concept of happiness remain as never-ending queries that individuals come across with in a day-to-day basis. Numerous individuals have attempted to present an objective and scientific answer the never ending question regarding the precise definition of happiness. Chompoo (2015) defined happiness as an emotion presently experienced by an individual, on the other hand, he viewed life satisfaction as a feeling of contentment about a person’s holistic perception of life. On the same note, Veenhoven (2002) defined overall happiness as the degree to which an individual evaluates the entire quality of his life-in-general in relevance to how he or she benefits positively. Thus, he perceived happiness as an attitude towards one’s personal living, that has at some point remain stable through encompassing the components of happiness (feelings and beliefs of an individual) (p.3). Varied perceptions attest to the subjectivity of happiness as a concept. Until now, researchers still consider happiness as subjective, and its definition significantly varies depending on an individual’s personal measure of happiness. Nevertheless, economists propose that happiness is the degree of equity between the quality of life across countries (Roser, 2016).

How Happiness Is Measured

According to Hsu (2012), most research regarding happiness does not focus on a happiness as a concept. Instead, researchers make use of life satisfaction further to explore the phenomenon of happiness and its components. However, satisfaction and happiness differ in meaning. Satisfaction is defined as contentment and happiness, on the other hand, is the state of being optimistic. Thus, stable personality characteristics and judgments reflecting cognitive and emotional reactions to circumstances have a significant effect on an individual’s subjective well-being. In other words, happiness is highly subjective and is a matter of choice due to external situations. For an individual to attain happiness, he or she must possess a positive emotion and pleasure, must maintain enough motivation to perform productive tasks, and must innovate ways to serve and contribute to significant external circumstances (The Happy Manager, 2007). Unlike happiness, life satisfaction is external rather than personal. External factors such as friends, life story, growth, goals, and monetary attainment profoundly influence one’s degree of life satisfaction (Barker, 2014). Despite the varying meaning of happiness and life satisfaction, Veenhoven (2002) related happiness and life satisfaction through looking at it as two highly related components. He defined life satisfaction as the capacity to endure satisfaction with an individual’s life-as-a-whole, commonly referred to as ‘happiness’ and also as ‘subjective well-being’ (p.5).

In relation to happiness and life satisfaction, Veenhoven (2006) conducted a descriptive research about happiness, its components and how individuals evaluate happiness. (p.1). Veenhoven (2006) proposed three theories (primacy of affect, Happiness linked to actually thriving and universal conditions of happiness) that individuals use to evaluate happiness. The first theory – the primacy of affect argues that affective appraisals are essential in cognitive assessment. Positive emotional evaluations significantly contribute to a positive cognitive perception. The second theory – Happiness linked to actual thriving suggest that people tend to be happier when they are residing and surrounded by favorable conditions than miserable ones. This theory argues that happiness is equivalent to how well life can cope with the demands implied in human nature. The last theory – universal conditions of happiness holds that conditions for happiness can vary based on differing circumstances. Individuals coming from various countries might possess different views about the components of as well as the limitations and scopes of happiness (p.23).

In contrast, in an article written by Myers (2000), the subjectivity and uncertainty of happiness was emphasized through an aggregate data of varying circumstances of happiness evaluation. He argued that correlational evidence attests that determiner such as money, age, gender, and achievements leave little evidence to support and measure an individual’s happiness. Myers (2010) argued that happiness varies depending on the situation. Due to individual differences, one factor (e.g. educational attainment) that makes an individual happy may not have the same effect on the happiness of the another person (p. 65). For instance, in prospering countries, even the richest people experience only a minimum amount of happiness despite the abundance of resources and luxury that they have. On the other hand, individuals in third-world countries experience higher levels of happiness through monetary incentives and achievements due to scarce resources and poverty.

On the same note, Seligman and Diener (2002) also presented an argument about the measurement and evaluation of happiness. The researchers proposed that there exists no single measure that automatically produces high levels of happiness. Instead, happiness has some many necessary prerequisites needed to achieve the optimum level of happiness. These requirements vary from one individual to another. One might have several prerequisites for happiness while another person might only look for a single determiner that would significantly contribute to his or her evaluation of personal happiness (p. 83). For instance, for one individual, he or she might look for money, family, and personal achievement as a determiner for happiness, on the hand, for another person, it is possible that his or her family is the only determiner that would increase his or her level of happiness.

Positive Effects of Happiness to an Individual’s Well-being

Hormonal Balance

Despite the continuous debate about the operationalized definition of happiness, researchers all approve to the importance of happiness to an individual’s life. Happiness causes feelings of compassion and healthiness. It triggers creativity, wittiness, and increases the energy level of an individual (Durham, 2016).  Since happiness is a necessity of the human body, several hormones (Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, and Oxytocin) are responsible for producing chemicals that induce happiness (Mehta and Josephs 2010, p.183). All these hormones have individual functions that activate and generate happiness in our body (Nguyen, 2014). Sufficient and consistent feelings of happinessare known to have a positive impact on one’s perception of daily life.

Emotional Stability

To prove the importance of happiness to one’s well-being. Seligman and Diener (2002) conducted a study where he screened two hundred twenty-two (222) undergraduates for happiness using multiple assessment filters. The upper ten percent (10%) of consistently very happy people was compared with the average as well as with very unhappy people (p.1).  Results suggest that very happy individuals had rich and satisfying social relationships and spent more time socializing than being alone. On a different note, unhappy individuals have significantly poor – below normal social ties. Furthermore, findings of their research also show that the very happiest individuals experience unpleasant emotions frequently. Although these individuals experience happiness most of the time, their ability to feel unpleasant experiences is functions very well. On the same note, euphoric people have lower chances of experiencing euphoria or ecstasy.


Happiness is known to improve the emotional state of an individual. As mentioned earlier, happiness produces a feeling of compassion and healthiness. Thus, happiness could possible affect one’s productivity through enhancing the mood of an individual. In a study conducted by Proto, Oswald and Sgroi (2009), where he conducted a qualitative analysis that seeks to determine whether happiness can be expected to produce an increase in intrinsic motivation or on the contrary, cause a decrease in work productivity. The experimenter exposed the two hundred seventy-two (272) participants to a comedy film before work. The experiment had two treatment conditions: the control group— not exposed to a comedy movie clip, and the treatment group – exposed to a comedy film clip. The experiment was carried out for six days with alternated early and the afternoon slots to avoid any circumstance time-of-day-effects. The data gathered in the research showed that an increase in happiness causes greater productivity in a paid piece-rate task. Happier workers’ efforts to work and perform well increase together with their level of happiness (p. 23)


Happiness is also known to improve one’s emotional state and also enhance an individual’s level of resilience. In a research conducted by Lyubomirsky and Della Porta (2008), where they discussed the relationship between happiness, positive emotions, and resilience. The data gathered by Lyubomirsky and Della Porta (2008) show that happiness is a significant and efficient contributor to an individual’s level of resiliency. During the occurrence of a stressful experience, resilience is the capacity that allows individuals to cope and bounce back from the negative and unpleasant consequences of a stressor. Coping from a stressful event requires an individual to manage negative emotions. Thus requiring high levels of happiness from a person. Furthermore, results show that practicing happiness-enhancing strategies increase an individual’s emotional and mental stability by diminishing levels of depression and anxiety. Thus improving the ability of an individual to be resilient towards unpleasant events and scenario (p. 15)

Decision Making

Happiness is known to affect the mental clarity of an individual. A positive mood contributes to a more just and positive way of dealing with an important decision. Studies have shown that high levels of happiness could result in an increase in the capacity to make the right choices. In a study conducted by Lerner, Li, Valdesolo and Kassam (2014), where they researched and provided a critical analysis of the effects of emotion on judgment and decision making. The results of the study show that emotions highly affect the decision-makingcapacity of an individual. During the decision-making process, currents emotions felt by the individual affect the kind, whether it is positive or negative, that a person would make. Negative emotions (e.g. anger, disappointment) tend to cause impulsive and emotion-driven decisions. Positive emotions (e.g. glad, jolly, happy), on the other hand, triggers mental clarity, which allows an individual to result to optimistic, well-evaluated and considerate decisions (p.33).

Happiness and the Society

The effects of happiness are not limited to the individuals alone. Happiness contributes to the welfare of society since, individuals with high levels of happiness have a greater capacity to have a well-balanced and fulfilled lifestyle (Actions for Happiness, 2005). Individuals with a happy life, perform well at school, work, and other areas affecting the community, which contributes to an increase in economic growth. Overall, happiness does not only affect the individual but as well as the holistic development of the community.

Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project Conclusion

Through the discussion of happiness in this paper, it is just to claim that happiness is an interesting phenomenon that deserves further exploration. Despite numerous studies and researches that have already presented on the varying definitions of happiness, the attempt to scientifically measure happiness remains an unresolved issue in the field of research. Although researchers continuously try to operationalize happiness, almost all of them still agree to the subjectivity of the entire concept of happiness. No single factor or measure could provide a precise description and evaluation of happiness since it varies depending on the situation and from one person to another.

Despite the ongoing debate on how to precisely define happiness, the benefits of happiness to an individual’s well-being as well as to the society are highly visible and constant. Furthermore, happiness is known to increase the well-being, mental stability, productivity and resilient of an individual. Happiness takes effect in these field through different ways of promoting improvement on the various aspects by enhancing the intrinsic well-being of an individual.

Indeed, the pursuit of happiness and the feeling of being happy is hard to achieve. An individual can be happy in an instant and the next moment he/she will feel sad and bitter. It cannot be measured by merely scientific evidence only because being happy is a state of mind. Happiness can only be attained by being conscious of what a person want and need. A human being cannot have a lasting happiness, and it cannot be increased either. Happiness is a temporary feeling and inauthentic.

Happiness and Life Satisfaction Research Project References

Barker, E. (2014). How To Be More Satisfied With Your Life: 5 Steps Proven By Research.

[online] TIME.com. Available at:

http://time.com/25208/how-to-be-more-satisfied-with-your-life-5-steps-proven-by-research/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

Chompoo, (2015). Life-satisfaction and Its 7 Contributors – Positive Psychology Program.

[online] Positivepsychologyprogram.com. Available at: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/life-satisfaction/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

Durham, J. (2016). Why is Happiness so Important?. [online] Lifecoachexpert.co.uk. Available

at: http://www.lifecoachexpert.co.uk/whyishappinesssoimportant.html [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

Diener, E. & Seligman, M. E., 2002. Very Happy People. Psychological Science, 13(1), pp. 83-


Hsu, B. (2012). Happiness versus Life Satisfaction: What’s the Difference?. [online] Black,

White and Gray. Available at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2012/10/happiness-versus-life-satisfaction-whats-the-difference/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

Lerner, J., Li, Y., Valdesolo, P. & Kassam, K., 2014. Emotion and Decision Making. Annual

Review of Psychology, pp. 33-34.

Lyubomirsky, S. & Della Porta, M., 2008. Boosting Happiness, Buttressing Resilience?. pp. 14-


Mehta, P. & Josephs, R., 2010. Social endocrinology hormones and social motivation. p. 183.

Myers, D., 2000. Funds, Friends, and Faith of Happy People. American Psychologist, p. 65.

Nguyen, T. (2014). ‘Hacking Into Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins

andOxytocin’. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thai-nguyen/hacking-into-your-happy-c_b_6007660.html [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

Proto, E., Oswald, A. J., & Sgroi, D., 2009. ‘Happiness and productivity.’ Institute for the Study

of Labor, pp. 3-23.

Roser, M. (2016). Happiness and Life Satisfaction: Our World In Data. [online]

Ourworldindata.org. Available at: https://ourworldindata.org/happiness-and-life-satisfaction [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

The Happy Manager. (2007). What Causes Happiness? – The Happy Manager. [online]

Available at:

http://the-happy-manager.com/articles/what-causes-happiness/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

Veenhoven, R., 2006. How do we assess how happy we are?: Tenents, implication and tenability

of three theories. New Directions in the Study of Happiness, pp. 3-8.

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