Happiness

Happiness has been an elusive, and often short lived goal for humans over our history. It may be that it comes when not pursued, and evades us when we chase it. But the work of Martin Seligman and the school of Positive Psychology has explained much about this important condition.

May 082014
 

Happy newly wed coupleOf all the starry-eyed just-married couples you know, which couples are likely to stay the happiest? A University of Illinois study says chances for bliss are highest when husband and wife both believe in divvying up the household labor equally. But that happiness won’t last long if one partner is perceived as not carrying their fair share of the load.

“Newlyweds need to thoughtfully plan how they can make their expectations about sharing chores work out in real life, especially if the new spouses strongly value gender equality in household labor. This issue will only matter more after children start arriving,” said Brian G. Ogolsky, a U of I professor of human development and family studies.

The way that couples negotiate the division of household chores in the first two years of marriage is important because, once patterns are established, they persist over time and can lead to increased conflict and decreased happiness in the marriage for years to come, he said.

The study examined the beliefs, behaviors, and marital quality of 220 heterosexual newlywed couples and found that dividing household tasks affected the marital satisfaction of wives but not of husbands. When wives valued equal sharing of housework, they were significantly happier if their husband shared those beliefs.

When couples divided household tasks in traditional ways, close matches in belief and behavior didn’t seem to affect marital satisfaction as much, he said.

“These results were interesting because usually marital satisfaction is studied in only one spouse. Here we were able to see what happens when there’s a discrepancy in spouses’ attitudes on this issue. If a woman believes that household chores should be divided equally, what happens if they adopt a traditional approach to the matter? The most satisfied couples have similar expectations and follow through on them,” he said.

“For husbands, sharing household tasks isn’t as directly related to their satisfaction. Either they don’t perceive that there is a discrepancy or they have bought into the idea that the second shift belongs to women,” he said.

The important thing is to enter a marriage with a clear understanding of where your partner stands on these issues, he noted.

“Such an understanding helps couples avoid becoming disillusioned as the marriage goes on,” he said.

Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Mar 112013
 

What makes us happy? Family? Money? Love? How about a peptide? The neurochemical changes underlying human emotions and social behavior are largely unknown. Now though, for the first time in humans, scientists at UCLA have measured the release of a specific peptide, a neurotransmitter called hypocretin, that greatly increased when subjects were happy but decreased when they were sad.

Mar 012013
 

What is humour for? Of all the explanations, among the better supported is the idea that it acts as a mating signal, Dr Christian Jarrett writes for the British Psychological Society. Research with heterosexuals suggests that men, in particular, use humour to show-off their intelligence and good genes to women. A similar but alternative proposal is that wit is used by a male or female joker to convey their sexual interest to a person they find attractive. A new study finds some support for the latter theory, in that wittier people were seen as particularly attractive for a short-term fling.

  • RSSRSS
  • Social Slider
  • RSS