Being happy is what we all wish for. But how is happiness measured? A rather difficult question since things that make people happy varies from one another. Some may assume that wealthiness would be a vital parameter in that direction. However, research has shown that things are more complicated. So, how do the research findings we read from time to time are being shaped? What do we mean when we say that people around the Mediterranean Sea are happier than Scandinavians? In no case is it the suicide rates, the number of people with drug abuse issues, or the salaries that lead scientists to conclusions. Let’s check out how research is being conducted?
- Biological facts
Biological findings are always an objective way to evaluate any parameter to an individual. In other words, the body can’t lie. Besides, the idea that psychological disorders are reflected in malfunctions of the body, is more and more popular. The levels of hormones, as well as samples of saliva and urine, are examined. The interesting part regards the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. You see low levels in the particular substance indicate a tendency to depression while high levels do not respectively imply that we have a happy person. The scientific fact leads to the conclusion that happiness and depression are not the two sides of a coin, which is a revolutionary idea in the field of medicine.
- Signs of behavior
Another crucial parameter to determine how happy a person is would be to pay attention to the details of their behavior. How often they smile and laugh is a typical example. The way the research is conducted is by showing people pictures or funny stories and waiting to see their response. One could say that this is not the way to measure happiness but how expressive they are. However, the results seem to be following logical and expected conclusions. For example, on Mondays people seemed to smile less when they were shown a funny drawing. The parameters that affect behavioral signs up to now are considered to be things like how sunny the place is and whether people have to go to work.
To get a better understanding of how people feel scientists could not avoid asking particular questions to reach the desired conclusions. Self-report is a method to get information out of people. In some cases, they even ask people from the close environment to answer these questions about the objects of the research to clarify whether the answers are reasonable and if people lie about themselves. The important thing is what questions would you ask to determine the levels of happiness and this is where things get interesting. Here are the questions individuals have to answer:
- How do you rate your satisfaction with your life on a scale from one to ten?
This is a direct question that is possible to confuse the person being asked. As simple as it may sound scientists expect you to consider a variety of parameters to answer the final question. This is why secondary questions are being asked to help people build the criteria and understand if they are happy indeed.
- Would you say your life is close to the ideal?
Many times people may live a blessed life but targets may be set too high. This makes it hard for them to be grateful for what they have and keeps happiness away from them. It is all a matter of perspective.
- Describe the conditions in your life
This question helps the interviewer get a closer look at the life of the individual. As people describe the conditions in their lives they reveal valuable information about the background. They allow the interviewers to reach their own conclusions about what the individual supports.
- If you were given the change in your life so far, what would you change?
This is a very interesting question and has to do with regrets. Regretting is a common feeling that removes people from being happy. Interestingly, some people say they would change some of their choices or reaction to particular events while others support that they would change things that happened in their lives. In other words, some people take full responsibility for the turn their lives took, while others blame luck, destiny, and fortune.
- Would you say you have accomplished most of your important goals in life?
In an attempt to combine how regretful someone is and how ambition has become an obstacle for his happiness, scientists make this plain question to help them further define if the person is happy.