Are you in a rut? Is it time to take life into your own hands? Are you ready take a time out to find yourself, and start over?
Are you 25?
It may be your quarter-life crisis knocking, say psychologists studying the phenomenon of 25–35-year-olds having a come-to-Jesus about where they’re going in life after having barely left the starting gates. Read More
So size does matter: Taller men are happier than shorter men. They’re also blessed with fewer worries and don’t get as sad or angry.
If this upsets you, don’t blame the messenger: These results are based on a study out of Princeton University published in the journal of Economics and Human Biology. Angus Deaton, a professor of economics and international affairs, interviewed 454,000 people on the phone and asked them to judge their life on a scale of one to ten, with one being the “worst possible life for you” and ten the “best possible life for you.” Wouldn’t you know it, the researchers also noted each person’s height.
Men who were above average height 5ft 10in (177.8cm) reported that they were standing higher on the ladder than men who were below average height.
They had an average ladder score of 6.55 compared to the shorter men who scored 6.41.
Women scored higher overall than men on the ladder scale and there was less difference between the taller and shorter women.
But psychologist Colin Gill makes a good point: While “there does appear to be a correlation between height and happiness and height and income,” being rich won’t make you happy on its own. It’s more complicated than that. Plus, the people who were happiest weren’t necessarily the tallest. So there’s that.
Discoblog: Short People’s Senses Faster Than Tall People’s
Image: flickr/ netsoftdesign
Can your iPhone make you happier? But of course, according to a new application called “Live Happy.” The app is meant to boost contentedness by helping users practice “positive psychology.” It’s a technique that creates spurts of happiness that research suggests may boost overall well-being over time.
The app is based on research by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, who has found that, for example, savoring common, yet pleasurable, experiences such as a hot shower can boost happiness. According to U.S. News & World Report:
The $6.99 Live Happy app allows users to track their happiness levels and practice some of her strategies—gratitude, for example, can be practiced by texting, emailing, or calling someone from your contact list. While Lyubomirsky is not profiting financially off the new app, she will be using it to study how her recommendations work in the real world.
So are iPhone users jumping to nab this joy-bringing app? Not all of them. When we offered one iPhone devotee a free trial of the app, he responded: “You know what would make me happy? Not spending so much time staring into an iPhone screen.”
Discoblog: Why Our Oily Fingers Can Never Soil the iPhone’s Pristine Screen
Discoblog: iChoc: New Chocolate Factory Operated Entirely by iPhone
Discoblog: Most Offensive iPhone App Ever? “Baby Shaker” Endorses Infanticide
Image: flickr / William Hook
Proponents of marriage like to toss around the statistic that married people (and married men in particular) are happier and healthier than the wretched ranks of the unwed. But new research has found that the happiness/health gap is narrowing, not because the married crew is losing its happy glow (though that may indeed be occurring), but because the single component is getting happier.
The study, led by Hui Liu, assistant professor of sociology at Michigan State University, used data from the National Health Interview Survey from 1972 to 2003. The researchers found that while the self-reported health of the married is “still better than that of the never-married,” the “gap has closed considerably.” Single women shouldn’t rejoice just yet: The uptick was due overwhelmingly to improvements in the health of never-married men. Liu thinks that this result may be “partly because never-married men have greater access to social resources and support that historically were found in a spouse.” (Female robots, perhaps? Or Internet porn?) Still, single women also saw an increase, and the singles health boost also spread across racial lines to both blacks and whites.
For those with one or more marriages in their past, the results aren’t as clear—the health of the the divorced, widowed, and separated worsened from 1972 to 2003 relative to their married peers (though whether entering into a second or third marriage increased your health wasn’t mentioned). So maybe the statistic should be revised to something like “first marriages and single-malehood, and possibly second and third marriages will make you happier and healthier.” Happy dating!
18 years of sadness begins
Americans will make more phone calls this Sunday than on any other day of the year, showering their mothers with love and gratitude. A month from now, fathers will receive a similar deluge of calls and, although the calls are far more likely to be of the collect variety, the sentiment will be the same. But are phone calls, cards, flowers, and brunches really enough? Research by social psychologist Daniel Gilbert reveals that people sacrifice more than “just” money, sleep, and a social life when they have children: They sacrifice their happiness.
Today at the “Happiness and its Causes” conference in Sydney, Gilbert revealed that kids are not the cuddly bundles of sunshine many parents wish to believe. Although married people are happier than unmarried people—they live longer, earn more more money, have more sex and enjoy it more—kids can completely kill the buzz.
Hello sunshine! Unless you strolled into work an hour late today, you’re probably celebrating the commencement of daylight saving time. Here in New York City, an hour of sunshine has moved from about 6:15 am—when we shrink from it and exclude it from our bedrooms—to 6:15 pm, when we can emerge from our offices to luxuriate in its warmth and embrace the opportunities for outdoor leisure activities. Even if the “lost” hour of sleep makes you drag a bit on the first morning, the sunnier afternoons are well worth that supplementary cup of coffee.