October 21, 2007 |
Move over, peace and happiness. Computers are what Americans really want nowadays. The machines outrank peace, happiness and clothes this year as the most wished-for gifts, according to a U.S. survey by the Consumer Electronics Assn., an industry's trade organization. Last year, the most popular answer to the annual survey's open-ended query about respondents' holiday wishes was clothing, followed by peace and happiness, money and computers.
April 17, 2012 |
If you were to travel anywhere in the globe -- even to visit remote tribes who have scant contact with the larger world -- would people be able to read your emotions from your facial expressions (happiness, sadness, disgust, etc.) and would you be able to read theirs? In other words, do people smile when they're happy, wrinkle their noses when disgusted, the world over? Scientists have long thought so, but authors of a new study challenge the idea. Charles Darwin argued in “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” that basic facial expressions are universal -- implying that are hard-wired within us, the product of natural selection.
April 4, 2014 |
Picture potato chips or chocolate - or any food you feel you can't resist. Chances are, your brain associates this food with a promise of happiness, says Kelly McGonigal, psychology instructor at Stanford University. But foods we have little control around act like the elusive carrot on a stick: The more we eat, the more we want. We never feel we have enough because the promise of reward is always in front of us - if only we eat one more, then another, and soon we're left with crumbs at the bottom of the bag. Yet the longing remains.
November 24, 2013 |
Fast food might make it harder to stop and smell the roses - and not just because of the overpowering aroma of French fries - a new study from the University of Toronto argues. Researchers pointed out that Americans have gained more and more leisure time, yet they aren't any happier. The problem could be that modern conveniences that are supposed to save time actually make us more impatient, and therefore less able to savor small moments of joy. To test that theory, the University of Toronto researchers carried out three different tests focused on happiness and quintessentially American “symbols of the culture of impatience”: fast foods.
November 17, 1996
Wendy Kaminer's reflection on satisfaction ("The Inner You," Oct. 13) sees Thomas Jefferson "enshrining the pursuit of happiness as a national entitlement" in the same manner, one must suppose, as Social Security and Medicare have been so enshrined. Jefferson would be aghast. He saw the pursuit of happiness not as an entitlement but as an inviolable individual right. Kaminer further states that Jefferson's point of view was that the purpose of education is "self-government, not self-esteem."
October 14, 2009 |
Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular take-away from "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers that purports to show that women have become steadily unhappier since 1972. Maureen Dowd and Ariana Huffington greeted the news with somber perplexity, but the more common response has been a triumphant "I told you so!" On Slate's Double X website, a columnist concluded from the study that "the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s gave us a steady stream of women's complaints disguised as manifestos ... and a brand of female sexual power so promiscuous that it celebrates everything from prostitution to nipple piercing as a feminist act -- in other words, whine, womyn, and thongs."