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Does happiness change after life events - Essay Example

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DOES HAPPINESS CHANGE AFTER LIFE EVENTS? by name University name Does Happiness Change after Life Events? James Griffin in his article “What do happiness studies study?” discusses the necessity to re-think the existing approach to measuring the concept of happiness (Griffin, 2007)…
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Does happiness change after life events

Download file to see previous pages... Instead of focusing on the aspects of subjectivity and objectivity, which leads researchers to distinguishing a few non-reducible features which are thought to contribute to the characteristic quality of life, one should first explore the ambiguity of the very notion of quality of human life. This is based on understanding that when people speak of the human life quality, they are most likely to have different things in their minds. The main idea of the article by Richard Lucas “Adaptation and the Set-Point Model of Subjective Well-Being: Does Happiness Change after Major Life Events?” is that despite the fact that happiness levels are quite stable over time, their stability does not actually preclude important and lasting changes (Lucas, 2007). Analysis of the evidence presented by authoritative longitudinal studies disproves the widely accepted belief that having experienced important life events, individuals typically adapt. It also disproves the point raised by set-point theorists that due to impact of inborn personality factors, people inevitably get back to happiness set points which are genetically determined. While adaptation certainly occurs, levels of happiness undergo changes, and, finally, it is vital to bear in mind that life events have their own significance. Comparison of the two articles allows identifying a range of similarities between the two studies. First of all, their central theme is happiness. While Griffin (2007) focuses on the essence of the concept of happiness as the object of the research, Lucas (2007) centers on how happiness depends on major life events and studies patterns of happiness presented within individuals’ adaptation and the set-point model of individual well-being. The theoretical background is different, however. Specifically, Lucas (2007) study of happiness patterns relies heavily on the theory of adaptation. It says that people benefit from adaptation processes because the latter protect them from hazardous psychological and physiological outcomes of lengthy emotional states. On the other hand, owing to adaptation processes people may get distracted by new changes in the environment which will refocus them from the old threats within their emotional condition. It helps individuals to overcome difficulties and get happier under certain life circumstances. At the same time, people adapt to such factors as income, health, age, marital status, as well as number friends; so these, with time, have only a small impact on their happiness rates. Besides, the theory of adaptation posits that certain variables that account for people’s happiness, for example, a well-being variable, are hereditary. It means that people may not be severely affected by life events. Some scientists have come to conclusions that happiness was the matter of adaptation (comparison of two research groups – lottery winners and those with spinal cord injury – did not find any significant differences in the levels of happiness, which was attributed to adaptation). On the other hand, their colleagues found that the levels of happiness were three quarters lower in people with spinal cord injury. On the contrary, Griffin (2007) relies on a range of models to investigate the meaning of the concept happiness. Namely, he uses the perception model, objective/subjective juxtaposition, and the test model. The studies are similar in their research ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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