In time for the UN’s International Day of Happiness, research reveals where true happiness is found

Posted by amandahayman

Tuesday, March 20, is the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness. And Adelphi University Professor Bernard Gorman and his colleagues have something to be happy about: their research project on the happiness of nations has been accepted as a presentation for the Association for Psychological Science 2018 convention in San Francisco May 24-27.

Titled “The Happiness of Nations: A Multifactorial Construct,” the project re-examines last year’s UN World Happiness Study conducted with Gallup Inc. The UN study, which utilizes the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, gathers data from 155 nations and factors in six indicators: GDP per capita, family life, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, perceptions of trust concerning government corruption.

‘Bread before Bach!’

On closer examination, Gorman made a surprising discovery. “Freedom, pursuing knowledge, and belief in the integrity of your government (societal factors) are important. However, the basics -- having food, water, shelter, as well as a sense of belonging, feeling loved and safe-- rose to the top.

Bread before Bach!”

Working with Gorman on the study were three of his graduate students at Hofstra University, where he teaches in addition to serving as an adjunct faculty member at Adelphi’s Derner School of Psychology: Xu Zhu, Joshua Brenner and David Cassell. Xu Zhu is also an instructor in psychology at Adelphi.

“Happiness begins at home,” Gorman added. “Societal indictors and personal indicators probably shouldn’t be lumped together in the study.”

See more about the UN’s International Day of Happiness and its World Happiness Report.

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