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If we define happiness as subjective wellbeing, which of the following factors has the greatest impact on happiness? Wealth, Relationships, Virtue. (Essay Topic)
Your essay should be 1300 words (+/- 10%, including quotations, but excluding your bibliography). Please use 12 pt font, double space your work and provide margins of at least 2cm (top/bottom, left/right).
Please submit your work through Turnitin. We will NOT accept email attachments or hard copies. You only need to submit the electronic copy of your essay through Turnitin. There is no need to submit an additional hard copy.
This is a research essay, so we expect you to find scholarly sources that will help you add sophistication, substance and depth to your argument. Please use the sources in your annotated bibliography and any feedback on your annotated bibliography from your seminar leader as a starting point for your research. You are expected to incorporate the essential readings from the week that corresponds with your essay question. The further readings should also be useful.
Tip: It is often useful to look through the bibliographies of interesting and relevant articles/books in order to find more sources on your topic. When searching for scholarly sources using the library catalogue use keywords from the question and synonyms to conduct research
Referencing should follow the La Trobe Harvard style: http://latrobe.libguides.com/harvard
Only these 4 essential readings need to be used for this ESSAY
1. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2000). Happiness, economy and institutions. The Economic Journal, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, United States of America, pp. 918-938.
This book establishes empirically the link between happiness and economics and between happiness and democracy. Both writers being respected economists integrate insights and findings from psychology, where attempts to measure quality of life are well-documented, as well as from sociology and political science. They demonstrate how micro- and macro-economic conditions in the form of income, unemployment, and inflation affect happiness. The authors confirm that unemployment and inflation nurture unhappiness. Their most striking revelation, however, is that the more developed the democratic institutions and the degree of local autonomy, the more satisfied people are with their lives. While such factors as rising income increase personal happiness only minimally, institutions that facilitate more individual involvement in politics have a substantial effect. Even though this book discusses the personality and demographic factors that affect happiness, the writers do argue that these factors are not of primary importance. They are influenced by economic conditions. For countries such as the Australia, where disillusionment with politics seems to be on the rise, such findings are especially significant. By applying econometrics to a real-world issue of general concern and yielding surprising results, this book promises to spark healthy debate over a wide range of factors that contribute to person's happiness.
2. Boniwell, I, Ayers, A.C, David, S.A (eds), 2013 The Oxford Handbook of Happiness, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.
The Oxford Handbook of Happiness is the definitive text for researchers and practitioners interested in human happiness. Its editors and chapter contributors are world leaders in the investigation of happiness across the fields of psychology, organizational behaviour, education, philosophy, social policy and economics. The book looks at four major scientific developments to the study of happiness. The Oxford Handbook of Happiness offers readers a coherent, multi-disciplinary, and accessible text on the current state of the art in happiness research. This book features ten sections that focus on psychological, philosophical, evolutionary, economic and spiritual approaches to happiness; happiness in society, education, organisations and relationships; and the assessment and development of happiness. It helps find information on psychological constructs such as resilience, flow, and emotional intelligence; theories including broaden-and-build and self-determination; and economic growth. This handbook will be for this essay as it focuses on the theory and research on human happiness.
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Happiness is a subjective well- being that defines the experience of people on the basis of their quality of life that includes their cognitive judgments and emotional reactions. Several scholars have worked towards the field of happiness. Many people have tried to understand the concept of happiness and what it really means to the human life. Few studies suggest that happiness is achieved through wealth, while others suggest that it is the relationship of people that is a measurement of happiness, and finally some argue that the virtues of a person are the source of happiness. Various scholars have had made their own judgments and decisions based on happiness. These differences can be seen in the following sections.
The study by Bok is based on the investigations to find the source of happiness according to Ed Diener, whose idea of happiness has been included in this reading suggests that an individual is said to be happy when he experiences satisfaction in life and most of the times remain joyful. Contrarily, when a person experiences dissatisfaction or less joy and affection, he is said to be unhappy or less happy. The reading then investigates different perceptions of happiness that includes generation of income as a means to happiness, demographic differences, lifestyle choices, marriage factor, having children, social relationships, organizations and social groups, employment, relationship with management, feeling about one's own health, religion, acts of kindness, and quality of the government. All these factors are stated to be a cause of happiness for different people. Later, the study shows a comparison of happiness between different nations, which shows that rankings vary in most of the investigations. However, most of the data reveal that Scandinavian countries along with Netherlands and Switzerland are happiest nations. It also shows that people living in the slums of Calcutta are also happy, which brings us to the fact that despite living conditions, wealth and harmony, people try to find happiness and pleasure by adjusting their lives. Finally, the sampling method shows that most of the people find happiness outside of work and displeasure of unhappiness within their work sphere.
The focus of this book is on theory and research on human happiness. The authors of this handbook are interested in research on the true meaning and means of human happiness. The authors have included different definitions of happiness that lies on philosophical approach, psychological approach, evolutionary approach, spiritual approach and economic approach. These various approaches show different meanings and dimensions of happiness based on happiness in education, happiness in society, happiness in relationships and happiness in organizations. Several approaches that have been developed by the authors of this book demonstrate that people have different meanings and definitions of happiness. Further, the reading also discusses psychological aspects of happiness which is resilience, emotional intelligence, and flow. The author has also pointed out different theories to explaining the meaning of happiness through different approaches that include economic growth as a means to happiness, broaden and build and self- determination as means to happiness.