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Report
Science of Happiness
April 27, 2012
Dacher Keltner
University of California, Berkeley
[email protected]
GreaterGood.berkeley.edu
Happiness and health
Diener, Lyubomirsky
• Happy nuns at 22 are 2.5 times less likely to die
between 80 and 90
• Happy about aging adds 7.5 years to life
• Happy at 70 adds 20 months to life
• Happiness associated with
– Fewer health symptoms
– Fewer strokes
– Fewer fatal accidents
– Reduced cardiovascular disease
– Reduced allergic reaction
Happiness at work
• Most cheerful college students make $25,000/year
compared to least cheerful
• Happy workers more productive, better job performance
• Happiness leads to boost in creative thought, problem
solving
• Happiness makes for more integrative negotiators
• Emotionally intelligent managers have more satisfied
teams
UK
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Children's well-being
Our culture needs it
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A few caveats
• The pursuit of happiness… makes us less
happy (Gruber & Mauss, 2011)
• Negative emotions are part of the mix
• Positive emotions in extremes can be
problematic (e.g., proneness to mania)
What is a happiness,
the meaningful life?
-- Jen
-- Hiking in the Sierras
-- Moderation
-- Understanding self
-- Virtue
-- Standing out from others
-- Eudamonia
-- Fulfilling duties
-- Justice
-- Rising in status
-- Financial well-being
-- Giving
-- Democracy
-- Delicious burrito
-- Reunion with family
-- Success at work
-- Being in love
POSITIVE EMOTION:
A language for the 3 to 1 (own life) and
5 to 1 ratios (Marriage)
•
•
Resources
Social Relations
Enthusiasm
Approach Goal
Contentment
Satiation
Love
Attachment
Desire
Reproduction
Compassion
Nurturance
Pride
Elevated Status
Gratitude Reciprocity/Friendship
Awe
•
•
Distress Reduction
Knowledge
Leaders
Relief
Interest
Learning
Amusement
Transformation/Insight
Evolution of a hypersocial
species
Dimensions to our
ultrasociality
•
•
•
•
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Care-taking
Flattened Hierarchies
Conflict and Reconciliation
Coordination
Fragile Monogamy
Reward: prefrontal
cortex and nucleus
accumbens
Knutson
• Rich with dopamine receptors
• Dopamine: Wanting
• Opiates: Liking
• Activated by:
–
–
–
–
–
pretty faces
food, music
pleasurable scenes
winning money
heroin, amphetamines, cocaine
The dopamine, opiate interplay
DePue
Positive emotion and
hemispheric asymmetry
Davidson
The Left Frontal Cortex is associated with
language, approach, and Positive Emotion
– Emotion Studies
– Studies of Buddhist Monks
– Studies of Meditation
The prosocial nervous system
% Who Give Away Maximum
Oxytocin and Trust
60
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Oxytocin
Control
Positive emotion in the
voice? Simon-Thomas et al., 2009, Emotion
Vocal bursts of positive emotion
Simon-Thomas et al., 2009
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90
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STRESS and the
hypothalamic pituitary
adrenal (HPA) axis
Chronic stress and
– Vigilance to threats
– Increased feelings of vulnerability,
isolation, lack of control, threat
– Stress, anxiety, fear, and nervousness
– Immune system compromised, ulcers, damage to DNA,
damage to brain cells, shortened lives in response to disease
Gratitude
• The feeling of reverence for things that
are given
Emmons, 2007, Thanks
Gratitude as guide to
good life Emmons, McCullough, 2001
• Barometer
Tracks generosity in relationships
• Motive
Clark: thanked participants more likely to help
Kurzban (2001): touched participants more likely to cooperate
with stranger
• Reward
“thank you” on bill: 11% higher tips
Volunteerism (to home for elderly)
• Baseline return: 43%
• Sent thank you notes: 80%
The grateful disposition
McCullough et al., 2002
• I have so much in life to be thankful for
• If I had to list everything I’m thankful for, it would be a very
long list
• When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be thankful for
• I am grateful to a wide variety of people
• As I get older I find myself better able to appreciate the
people, events, and situations that have been part of my life
history
• Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to
someone or something
Correlates of being grateful
• Grateful disposition
– Life satisfaction
.53***
– Happiness
.50***
– Optimism
.51**
– Anxiety
-.20*
– Depression
-.30**
– Peer rate volunteerism
.19*
– Envy
-.17**
– Possessiveness
-.34**
A brief history of awe
Keltner & Haidt, 2003
• Early conversion experiences, being in presence of God
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– St Paul’s conversion
– Vismaya in Hinduism
Burke’s revolution (1757): secular awe
– Patterns light, dark
– Ox vs. cow
– Not smells
– Power, obscurity
Immanuel Kant (1764): An Essay on the Sublime and the Beautiful
– Aesthetic experience vs. awe
Emerson (1860s): Transcendent self in Nature
Max Weber (1905): political awe
A family of awe
experiences
Keltner & Haidt, 2003
Vast
God
X
Leader
X
Elevation
Accom Threat Beauty Virtue Supernatural
X
X
X
X
X
Tornado
X
X
Cathedral
X
X
X
Music
X
X
Aesthetics
X
X
X
X
?
?
Emerson
In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel
that nothing can befall me in life-- no disgrace, no calamity
(leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair.
Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the
blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean
egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am
nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being
circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God. The
name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and
accidental; to be brothers, to be acquaintances, master or
servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover
of uncontained and immortal beauty.
“Nature”(1836/1982), p.39
Spirituality and health
• Myers: Spiritually oriented report higher levels of happiness
• Smith, McCullough, 2003: Spiritually oriented report less depression
– 145 studies, 98,000 participants
– R = -.096, greater during stress
• Putnam: greater spirituality greater volunteerism, altruism
–
Norenzayan, 2010: Prime spiritual, civic ideas, become more generous
• McCullough et al.,2000
– Meta analysis 42 studies: religious 29% more likely to be alive at any time point
• McCullough et al., 2009
– Terman longitudinal study: 1523 high IQ people
– Three curves
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Always religious: Extraverts, neurotics
Always non-religious
Become more religious: Agreeable
Religious women live longer, due to social commitments, health behaviors
Play
Reflection on play: Your
play history, narrative
Brown, 2009
• Think back to your earliest experiences of play.
What were they?
• Are you as free as you’d like to play today?
What is play?
• Peek-a-boo, rough-and-tumble, games, sociodramatic
play, word play, imitations, interspecies play
• Criteria:
– Apparently purposeless
– Voluntary
– Inherent attraction
– Freedom from time
– Diminished consciousness of self
– Improvisational
– Desire to continue
Stuart Brown, 2009
The functions of play
•
Boundaries
– Rough-and-tumble play: learn boundaries
between pleasure, pain, harm
– Marc Bekoff: coyotes in rough-and-tumble play
learn how not to bite, learn hierarchies
– Flirtation: learn boundary between friend,
intimate
The functions of play
• Skills
– Playful imitation
– Play kissing of pre-adolescents
– Boys playing cavemen, girls playing with dolls:
– hunting, care-taking
The functions of play
• Identity:
– sociodramatic play (3 years)
– Barrie Thorne studied lunchtime play of middle school
girls: gender play to take on, try out sexual identities
– Adolescents play at adults
The functions of play
• Knowledge
– Playing with liquids, sand: understand substance,
materials, conservation
The functions of play
• To learn empathy, theory of mind in pretend
play (Leslie)
– Abuse of language in pretend play
• Object substitution: banana = phone
• Attribution of non-literal properties: glasses have diamonds
• Imaginary objects
– Abuse of rules of language in pretend play frees
children from egocentrism, paves way for theory of
mind, different perspectives, empathy
A language of laughter
• Preuschoft, Van Hooff: pant hoots in primates
• Provine: Laughter punctuates speech
• Bachorowski: hisses, snorts, guffaws, cackles,
grunts
• 3-4 bursts per laugh
• Voiced laughs involve vocal folds
• Dominant, submissive laughs
The acoustics,
physiology of laughter
• Own space in acoustic structure (Bachorowski)
• Predates language
• CNS correlates in brain stem, pons (which
regulations breathing: Wilibald Ruch)
Laughter = humor?
• Provine, 1992
– Laughter gatherers in dorms, malls
– About 20% of laughs follow jokes, humor
– Most do not
Laughter = cooperation?
Bachorowski, Owren
• Laughter has a unique idiosyncratic acoustic
signature
• It signals imminent rewards, sign of cooperation
• Friends engage in antiphonal laughter (Smoski &
Bachorowski, 2003)
Laughter and health
Martin & Lefcourt
• Reduction of cardiovascular stress
• Quicker return to cardiovascular baseline during
stress (Fredrickson & Levenson,1998)
• Laughter cascades benefit marriage (Gottman,
2003)
• Martin, Lefcourt: sense of humor benefits health
The fool (jokester,
trickster, satirist)
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•
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Human universal: from China to original peoples
Pervasive in earlier culture
Political power, advising
Mocked every public event
Embodied a rhetoric of absurdity
Emotional disorders as
deficits in self-compassion
• Self-compassion
– See failures kindly
– See self as part of larger humanity
– Hold pains in mindful attentiveness
• Self-compassion predicts
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Reduced
Reduced
Reduced
Reduced
anxiety
depression
rumination
neurotic perfectionism
Bipolar disorder and mania
• Excessive episodes of positive
emotion, then depression
• Hyperactivity, difficulties
sleeping, grandiosity,
impulsivity
• Excessive positive emotion
• Dysregulation of nucleus
accumbens
• Excessive confidence
• Excessive feelings of power
• Excessive vagal tone
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High Risk
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Low Risk
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Neutral
Happy
Pride
Sad
Disgust
Laughter and stressful
trauma
Bonanno & Keltner, 1995
• Bereavement
• Studied 45 adults 6 months bereaved
• Simple narrative: “tell me about your relationship with
•
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your deceased spouse”
Coded emotion with FACS
Griefwork hypothesis
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Lots of anger a sign of effective grieving
Positive emotion sign of denial, maladaptive grieving
Our findings: more laughter, better functioning two years later
More anger: worse functioning
Laughter: physiological arousal not distressing, more perspective
The dynamic interaction
style perspective
• Naturalistic methods
• The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
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Contempt
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Criticism
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Stonewalling
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Defensiveness
Beyond 15%: Toward the
magical 5 to 1 ratio of
positive to negative
• Humor: playful nicknames, laughter and escapes from negative
affect cascades, playful teasing
• Gratitude: Appreciation exercises boost happiness of couples
• Loving Kindness: interventions boost happiness of couples (Neff)
• Forgiveness: letting go of grudges calms stress-related physiology;
forgiveness interventions boost well-being
• Disclosure: Suppressing emotion elevates stress-related physiology
of others
• Idealization (Sandra Murray)
Positive emotion in
major disorders
• Schizophrenia
Kring, UC Berkeley
– Lack of expression, but comparable feeling
– Deficits in anticipating pleasures but comparable
experiences savoring pleasures
• Depression
– Deficits in pride
Gruber et al., 2011
Connect
• Strong support leads to lower levels of cortisol
Kiecolt-Glaser
• Give stressful speech with supportive member in
audience, lower blood pressure
• Women with breast cancer who are in
supportive group therapy better life expectancy
(37 vs. 18 mos.)
Spiegel et al., 1989
• Your connections spread outward
Gratitude Diaries (count
your blessings)
• McCullough, Emmons, 2003: Expressions of
gratitude once a week for 10 weeks, better health,
happiness 3 weeks later compared to: baseline
control condition, a complaint condition
• Lyubomirsky: 1 time a week write down what you’re
grateful for, boosts in happiness; every day
gratitude practice, no effects
• Gratitude diaries promote
– Reduced blood pressure
– Better peer relations in kids
– Boosts in test scores for kids
Emmons, 2008
Narrative
• Write about strongest emotions of trauma, or
the facts of the event
• Traumas studied: bereavement, divorce,
holocaust survivors, 9-11 victims
• Effects: increased well-being, enhanced immune
function, reduced visits to health center,
reductions in anxiety, depression
• Narratives about positive self
Laura King
Contemplation
Alan Wallace: Genuine Happiness
• Attention
– Breathing
• Settle into relaxed posture
• Focus attention in between what you’re looking at and eyes
• Breathe 21 times
• Attend to movements of lungs
• Mindfulness
– Of body
• Imagine attention as curved surface
• Move this attention up and down body
• Be mindful of sensations throughout body
• Loving Kindness
– Bring to mind a person who is dear to you
– Imagine person’s sufferings, yearnings
– Wish for person’s happiness
– Extend to another person, broadening circle of care
Cultivating awe
Life style choices
Roger Walsh, AP, 2011
• Food
– Rainbow diet (Fruit, vegetables)
– High omega fish
– Less fat
• Nature
• Exercise
The benefits of green
• Frances Kuo (2001)
– In green regions of Chicago Housing project, 48%
fewer property crimes, 56% fewer violent crimes
– Girls with green views score higher on self-discipline,
delay of gratification, impulse control, concentration
– ADHD symptoms drop after walking in park compared
to quiet urban area
– In regions of Chicago project with more trees and
grass, neighbors felt greater community, knew each
other, safer
Green and health
• Ulrich (1991)
– Green scenes de-activation heart rate, blood
pressure
– Heart surgery patients exposed to green
scenes need less strong pain medications
Restorative justice
Sherman & Strang, 2007
• 1500 programs in US, Europe
• Principles
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Offenders accountable
Undo effects of harm
Offenders reintegrate into community
Respectful dialogue victim, offender
• Outcome data (McCullough, 2008)
– Victims 4 times less revenge
– 2.6 times more likely to forgive offender
– Less angry, more pleased with judicial process
Touch and be touched
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Reward
Reinforce Reciprocity
Signal Safety
Soothe
Touch and be touched
Frequency Choosing Correct
Emotion
Emotion and Touch
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Correct Label
Next choice
Coding Touch
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