Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

The Science of Happiness

  • The Science of Happiness, the scientific study of “what makes happy people happy,” was arguably launched by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi in the late 1980’s.
  • Czikszentmihalyi pioneered the “Experience Sampling Method” to discover what he called the “psychology of optimal experience,” and specifically, the experience of Flow.
  • The Science of Happiness is now picking up speed, with scientists from around the globe exploring the neuroscience of happiness as well as the psychology of well-being.
  • The measurement of happiness has consequently become a major focus of the new science, with many scales presently being used depending on how “happiness” is defined.
    • Positive Psychology could be regarded as a subset within the broader field we call the Science of Happiness, which extends to the natural as well as the social sciences.
    • Positive Psychology is traditionally focused on the study of positive emotions and “signature strengths,” and more recently on related areas such as intimate relationships and the discovery of meaning.
    • The Science of Happiness extends beyond the psychological sciences, for example, to such areas as the impact of exercise and nutrition on psychological well-being, or the effect of social media on happiness.

    On the internet and in bookstores, a thousand gurus tout different remedies for human misery. How can we find out which remedies work? We need to consult one of our greatest gurus, the scientific method. Recently we have seen a dramatic upsurge in scientific studies on Positive Psychology and the science of happiness or to put it simply, discovering what makes happy people happy. Fortunately, many of these studies point to specific ways of thinking and acting that can strongly impact our sense of happiness and peace of mind.

    If you would prefer to explore the Science of Happiness through videos and fun quizzes, try our free Introductory Mini Course. If not, keep reading!

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