I gave a presentation at South by Southwest earlier this month. I appreciate the many people who voted for my idea, who attended my talk, and who gave me feedback via twitter or face to face afterwards. It was a great experience.
It was a great experience, not for the people I met or for the thrill of speaking , [...]
I recently wrote/created (though the graphic design is not mine) the below infographic for Good Magazine in an issue dedicated to societal trends. The idea here is that the material economy (which produces physical goods like cars and electronics) is being replaced by the experiential economy (which produces experiences like food and vacations). The psychological [...]
Recently, an unprecedented study was done in Oregon where (due to budgetary, not research reasons) a lottery was held to randomly decide which applicants for Medicaid would actually receive the opportunity to receive Medicaid. There has never been an opportunity to randomly assign people to have access to a program like Medicaid, and so this [...]
Tony Hsieh, liberals, and libertarians prefer buying experiences to materialism – A Review of Delivering Happiness
I recently finished Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, which is partially a business book, detailing his remarkable story where he has won (selling Link Exchange to Microsoft in his 20s for $265 million) and lost (selling almost everything to turn Zappos around) fortunes. Zappos, an online shoe seller, has gone on to become the model [...]
Whenever I bring up the concept of maximizing (“never settling for less than the best”), the discussion inevitably evolves into thinking about what domains a given person maximizes in. For example, I definitely don’t maximize in terms of my clothing choices, but am more of a maximizer in my career choice. Actually, even within my [...]
Watching baseball can be a frivolous pursuit and a distraction from psychology research, but last night something happened which demonstrated a psychological finding far more effectively than any study or paper.
Armando Galarraga, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was very close to pitching a perfect game. For non-baseball fans, its a very rare occurrence, comparable [...]
I recently read this blog post by Justin Wolfers defending the use of United States gross domestic product rather than measures of subjective well being (e.g. gross national happiness) to measure how well our country is doing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this debate, you can see this below video or this link to the Sarkozy Commission [...]
As a liberal social psychologist who has helped create a science of positive psychology course at the University of Southern California, I could not help but be interested in Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book, Bright-Sided, which states how the positive psychology approach (in academia, business, health, and economics) has undermined America. First, I would think we [...]
People who study happiness can be annoying in their pollyannish prescriptions to just look on the bright side of life. Just ask Barbara Ehrenreich, who wrote Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. So it’s always refreshing to see someone put basic research findings (being grateful is important) into more common [...]
Facebook just launched a gross national happiness index which uses analysis of words used in Facebook posts to measure the country’s mood. I’m sure those who study the taxonomy of emotion would love to see more complex measures included. However, this is a potentially wonderful tool and the fact that Facebook is willing to publish [...]