New Study Made on Happiness
The psychologists believed for a very long time, that the people have a certain so-called set point for happiness. That means that a person is jollier than another person regardless of the circumstances. They believed that no matter what happens in one’s life, that particular person will still have that same level of happiness. That means that the bad or the good things can not influence how happy a person is, only for a very brief moment. They said that even if one experiences great joy, by winning lots of money, let’s say, then the level of happiness will go back to the “normal” limits in a few years. The same thing happens when one experiences unfortunate events.
The new study, which involved more than 150,000 German adults, proved the opposite. The research proves that the overall happiness of a person can change, and in fact it really does change over the course of one’s life. Numerous people have stated that their happiness levels have shifted a lot during their lifetime and that they have remained at that particular level. The study also wanted to analyze the relationship between money and happiness, more precisely if a rich person is happier than a poor one. It has been discovered that there isn’t a very direct connection between money and happiness, but that the rich people are more satisfied with their lives than the poor people. The reason for that is the fact that the rich people have a much more interesting life, thanks to the opportunities they can create with their money.
Gert Wagner, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany, who was also the leader of the study, said that money is just a byproduct of a satisfying job. He said that the most important things in one’s life should be his family and his friends, and that the time spent with those people is more rewarding than anything else. It was also believed that the developed countries should share the same levels of happiness, for example that Germany should be at the same level with England or with the United States of America. The research was performed over a span of 24 years, between 1984 and 2008. Each year, the participants to the study had to answer certain questions regarding their overall happiness levels, about how much hey socialize, how much they exercise each day, and so on.
In order to accurately measure the level of one’s happiness, the researchers used percentiles. A person, who had a 99 percentile, would be happier than 99 percent of the people involved in the study. It was observed that the percentiles changed very often, and almost a quarter of the ones who were involved in the study, saw a change in percentiles by 33 percent. The researchers have found out that there are certain things which make people happy. They discovered that the finding of a partner which can influence one in a positive manner proved to be extremely important, as the person would “catch” the happiness of his partner. However, it was observed that a bitter partner could be influential as well, and that the people who had depressed partners were more likely to be depressed themselves.