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The How of Happiness-Positively Incorrect! with Scott Cluthe -Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.

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Scott Cluthe interviews Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D, on his show Positively Incorrect! Dr. Lyubomirsky's new release is The How of Happiness. Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor at Stanford University. The majority of her research career has been devoted to studying human happiness. Why is the scientific study of happiness important? In short, because most people believe happiness is meaningful, desirable, and an important, worthy goal, because happiness is one of the most salient and significant dimensions of human experience and emotional life, because happiness yields numerous rewards for the individual, and because it makes for a better, healthier, stronger society. Her curretn research examines these critical questions:- 1) What makes people happy?; 2) Is happiness a good thing?; and 3) How can we make people happier still? Why Are Some People Happier Than Others? This may be one of the great questions of all time for many of us. Sonja says she has always been struck by the capacity of some individuals to be remarkably happy, even in the face of stress, trauma, or adversity. Thus, my earlier research efforts had been focused on trying to understand why some people are happier than others. To this end her approach has been to explore the cognitive and motivational processes that distinguish individuals who show exceptionally high and low levels of happiness. These processes include social comparison (how people compare themselves to peers), dissonance reduction (how people justify both trivial and important choices in their lives), self-evaluation (how people judge themselves), and person perception (how people think about others). All of these processes, it turns out, have hedonic implications - that is, positive or negative consequences for happiness and self-regard - and thus are relevant to elucidating individual differences in enduring well-being.