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 21 Ways to Become Happier

12 Ways to a Happier World


This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael W. Fordyce, 12/14/44 - 01/24/11, whose pioneering work created the happiness movement we enjoy today.  Heaven and Earth are happier places because of you.  Thanks, and stay happy forever and ever.

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HAPPINESS BY KNOWING FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION!

I explained how overcoming belief in free will can boost happiness on episode 7 Happiness and the Determinism vs. Free Will Question, 4-20-03, and 92 A Conversation about Happiness, Free Will and Determinism, 2-28-05

John Searle, the13th ranked post-1900 philosopher, says that our world overcoming the free will illusion "would be a bigger revolution in our thinking than Einstein, or Copernicus, or Newton, or Galileo, or Darwin -- it would alter our whole conception of our relation with the universe." 
 


Find out why at
my new show,
 Exploring the Illusion of Free Will

 

 

 

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What is Happiness?

   Why is Happiness so Important?

World's Happiest Countries

Happiness Facts

Happiness Benefits

The APACHE Method (Positive Adjectives Technique and List)

The Ortega Happiness Method

Other Ways of Becoming Happier

Happiness Increase Experiments

Top Happiness Researchers and Promoters

Dr. M. Fordyce

George Ortega's Happiness Skills Theory (2 drafts)

Happiness Books, Papers and Articles

Start a Happiness Show

Happiness-Increase Research and the Artifacts Dilemma

Happiness Research Still Needed

Proposals for Further Refuting Hedonic Adaptation Predictions

The Hey Bill Gates, Start an International Happiness Corporation Campaign

Happiness Increase International

George's Happy World Songs

Humankind's Age of Happiness

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100 Happiness Self-Statements

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Key Happiness Facts
 

World's Happiest Countries:
 
1. Nigeria
 2. Mexico
 3. Venezuela
 4. El Salvador
 5. Puerto Rico
 (U.S. ranks 16th)

Countries with Highest Levels of Subjective Well-Being:
 
1. Puerto Rico
 2. Mexico
 3. Denmark
 4. Columbia
 5. Ireland

Click here for the complete ranking and more information

Americans consider happiness more important to them than money, moral goodness, and even going to Heaven.

Americans are, on average, only 69 percent happy.

The world population is, on average, less than 65 percent happy.

37 percent of the people on Forbes list of Wealthiest Americans are less happy than the average American.

At any given time, one forth of Americans are mildly depressed

14 percent of the nations on Earth are less than 50 percent happy.

Happiness Increase Experiments published in peer review journal have empirically demonstrated that individuals can be trained to be 25 percent happier through various training programs in from two to ten weeks.

All demographic variables combined, including age, sex, income, race, and education, are responsible for only 15 percent of the difference in happiness levels between individuals.

American Children feel happy 52 percent of the time, neutral 29 percent of the time, and unhappy 19 percent of the time.

Americans' personal income has increased more than 2 1/2 times over the last 50 years, but their happiness level has remained the same.

Americans earning more that $10 million annually are only slightly happier than average Americans.

(Click here for Citations and a Brief Paper on How our World Can Become Much Happier)



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Proposals for Further Refuting Hedonic Adaptation Predictions

 

 

Some happiness researchers still believe that because of hedonic adaptation (adaptation level theory applied to happiness), wherein individuals tend to accustom themselves to both positive and negative circumstances, long-term changes in happiness level are prohibited.  Although Ed Diener and colleagues have recently presented compelling empirical evidence that certain circumstantial changes like marriage are not subject to this prohibition, the following two research proposals are submitted as means of presenting further evidence that dramatic changes in long term levels of happiness are not only quite possible, but actually matters of fact.

 

 

 

Refuting Hedonic Adaptation Predictions using Prisoners and Parolees
by George Ortega

Long-term happiness increases could be easily documented by using  American prison inmates as a target population.  Considering that the average level of happiness here in the United States is about 70 percent, the average level for prisoners incarcerated for over ten years may range between 60 and 70 percent, or lower, while the average level for long-term incarcerated parolees free for over ten years may range between 70 and 80 percent, or higher.

 Reviews by neither Argyle (2001), nor Myers (1992), nor Diener (1984) include studies on the happiness level of prisoners.  Diener (1999) includes a 1996 study by Kasser on prisoner aspirations and well being, however a search of the World Database of Happiness website revealed that no "prison-happiness" studies have been done, although "prison" was a listed search term with several sub-categories.

 If there turns out to be a substantial enough average difference between prisoners who have been incarcerated for over ten years, and similarly incarcerated parolees who have been free for over ten years, that finding would demonstrate that long-term happiness is not static as adaptation level theory predicts. 

 

 

Refuting Hedonic Adaptation Predictions using Emigrants
by George Ortega

Longitudinal emigration data can be used to demonstrate that adaptation theory does not prohibit long-term happiness increase. In the 1990ís, the average happiness levels of certain countries throughout the world were extremely low.  For example; Moldova, 1996- 44 percent;  Ukraine 1996- 48 percent;  Russia 1995- 51 percent.  (Source; World Values Surveys).

At the time these measurements were taken, some citizens from those countries presumably emigrated to countries like the United States, where average happiness levels are about 70 percent.

Measuring the current (2004), happiness levels of these emigrants to happier countries would likely show them to be close to average happiness levels in those happier countries.  The extrapolated resulting average happiness level increases would likely be much stronger than adaptation level theory predicts, thereby dramatically limiting the relevance of the theory to long-term happiness increase.

 

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