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Happiness

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By natedunn
Words 788
Pages 4
Nathan Dunn
PSY 227
April 20th, 2011

Outside Assignment #4 What is happiness? What does it entail and can people learn it? The video seemed to shed some light on this topic with some interesting ideas. The first idea that came to my attention was this idea of hedonism versus altruism. The test subjects in the video tried both an act of hedonism and an act of altruism. The hedonistic act was performed first and varied from massages to dancing in a club. These acts were performed on the basis that they were believed to make the person feel good and be happy. The verbal results from these acts were initially positive. The participants returned with a great sense of happiness and had a great time with what they did. However this sense of happiness was greatly diminished compared to their second act, which involved an act of altruism. This act varied from helping picking up trash throughout the community to helping pack food at a food bank. The verbal results indicated that the altruistic act resonated happiness much longer than the act of hedonism. This was almost a unanimous feeling amongst the four participants. Personally this makes a lot of sense to me, as I come from a perspective that joy is a longer lasting and deeper feeling of happiness. Happiness, I believe, is something that you feel in the moment, while joy is a deeper feeling of satisfaction with one’s life and accomplishments concerning the important things in their life. What this study how found this that there is likely a altruistic side of humans that value helping others and bring out a sense of joy. However this does not mean, as one of the participants said, that we cannot have moments of hedonism and just simply experience happiness when we deserve it. The second part of the video that I found interesting was the section where they talk about what studies have shown in...

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