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Sunday, October 16, 2005


Dorothy Wade writes in the Sunday Times:
Great writers from Freud — "the intention that man should be happy is not included in the plan of Creation" — to Philip Larkin — "man hands on misery to man" — have painted happiness as an elusive butterfly. But ordinary people believe they are happier than average (an obvious impossibility) and that they'll be even happier in 10 years' time. If true, it would be good news because research shows that happier people are healthier, more successful, harder-working, caring and more socially engaged. Misery makes people self-obsessed and inactive.

These are the conclusions of a burgeoning happiness industry that has published 3,000 papers, set up a Journal of Happiness Studies and created a World Database of Happiness in the last few years.

Can scientists tell us what happiness is?
Read the rest of Wade's excellent piece to find out.

(Link via Arts and Letters Daily.)
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