Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ever Wondered What Makes People Happy? Or What Makes People Sad?

We found some interesting studies recently, and thought we'd share! What do you think about what they found?

Happiness and Genetics?

According to psychologists from Edinburgh University, half of the personality traits that make a person happy are due to inherited genes. After studying 1000  pairs of twins with researchers from Australia and looking at each person's personality in regards to factors such as how "sociable or outgoing" he or she was, or how "anxious or angry they feel" (1). Through their research they discovered that those who were more outgoing and didn't worry as much tended to be happier, and that these characteristics were due partially (about fifty percent) to one's genes. They found that the remaining fifty percent was due to other factors found in daily life, such as one's health, work, relationships, etc.

Also, ever wondered about a possible link between money and happiness? 

According to a survey of Forbes, 400 most affluent Americans and another group of less wealthy Americans the group found that the wealthier group was "only modestly happier" (2). Another interesting thing they found was that "37% of the Forbes 400 respondents reported less happiness than the average non-wealthy American" (2). Interesting research, huh?

Hours of Sleep and Teen Depression? 

Another study which came out recently in the media was on the relationship between how much sleep a teen gets and likelihood of depression. One might find the results a little surprising... See below.

According to a study done in New York of 15,659 teenagers (ages 12 through 18), Columbia University Medical Center researchers found that those who went to sleep after midnight were much more likely to be depressed than those whose parents made them go to bed by 10 p.m. In fact, teens who stayed up until midnight or after were 42% more likely to be depressed. Furthermore, teens who are permitted to have later bedtimes were 30% more likely to have considered suicide this year.

As James Gangswitch, head of the Columbia University research team said, "We feel like we can just eat into our sleep time, but we pay for it in many different ways." One of the things he believed about the results of his team's study was that in comparison to the past he felt that one sees a greater difference between teens who have a required bedtime and those who don't today due to new technological distractions such as Facebook or texting.

What do you think about these studies? Any thoughts?

The National Post. "Money Can't Buy Happiness. Really." 23 Jan. 2010. 7 Feb. 2010.
The Daily Record:
BBC News:

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