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Journal Article

The optimum level of well-being: can people be too happy?

Authors

Publication date

2007

Abstract

Psychologists, self-help gurus, and parents all work to make their clients, friends, and children happier. Recent research indicates that happiness is functional and generally leads to success. However, most people are already above neutral in happiness, which raises the question of whether higher levels of happiness facilitate more effective functioning than do lower levels. Our analyses of large survey data and longitudinal data show that people who experience the highest levels of happiness are the most successful in terms of close relationships and volunteer work, but that those who experience slightly lower levels of happiness are the most successful in terms of income, education, and political participation. Once people are moderately happy, the most effective level of happiness appears to depend on the specific outcomes used to define success, as well as the resources that are available.

Published in

Perspectives on Psychological Science

Volume

2 (4):346-360

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6916.2007.00048.x

Subjects

Psychology and Well Being

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1701655~S5

Notes

Online in A/S Vol. 1-4, 2006-2009; Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#510269


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