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Happiness Essay

806 words - 4 pages

Nathan Dunn
PSY 227
April 20th, 2011

Outside Assignment #4
What is happiness? What does it entail and can people learn it? The video seemed to shed some light on this topic with some interesting ideas. The first idea that came to my attention was this idea of hedonism versus altruism. The test subjects in the video tried both an act of hedonism and an act of altruism. The hedonistic act was performed first and varied from massages to dancing in a club. These acts were performed on the basis that they were believed to make the person feel good and be happy. The verbal results from these acts were initially positive. The participants returned with a great sense of happiness and ...view middle of the document...

I was shocked to see that family has not shown, according to research, any effect on happiness. I slightly disagree with this, however I understand that it may have a smaller affect than most people would like to believe. I understand that family brings to some people a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment but when you are not helping others out and completing this sense of altruism, then this unhappiness in that area will flood into your personal life and potentially affect your family life.
However it made sense to me that money does not truly buy happiness. I have known this for many years. Growing up as a Christian I was taught that in the end, everything fades away and money is simply what gets us by for temporary happiness. Religious or not, I feel that this permeates into our society regardless of how people act. Often enough we see people dive into millions of dollars hoping to make their lives easier and more fun, which are both very likely. However this aspect of happiness has rarely been found in those with great wealth, with the exception of one type of rich people: charitable people. Donating to charity once again reflects back to this idea of how altruism is the central part of happiness or joy.
The last part of the video that I...

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