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Special Report

The Science of Happiness

Learn the latest psychology behind why it's hard to be happy, and take our quiz to learn how your contentment compares to that in other cultures

  • October 29, 2011

Why It's So Hard to Be Happy

The pursuit of happiness drives much of what we do, but achieving it always seems just out of reach

February 1, 2007 — Michael Wiederman

The Science of Lasting Happiness

Through controlled experiments, Sonja Lyubomirsky explores ways to beat the genetic set point for happiness. Staying in high spirits, she finds, is hard work

April 1, 2007 — Marina Krakovsky

Money Buys Unhappiness

Thinking about cash impairs the ability to savor experiences

August 31, 2010 — R. Douglas Fields

Money Can Buy Happiness Sometimes

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Tampa in early February, psychologist Ryan Howell said that money spent on experiences made people happier than buying things. Cynthia Graber reports

February 25, 2009

Happiness Is Contagious

A happy person within a social circle quickly influences those around him or her to be happy, extending to three degrees of separation. Adam Hinterthuer reports

December 5, 2008

Happy People Talk More Seriously

A recent study analyzed 20,000 conversations and found that happiness strongly correlated with talkative people who went beyond the small talk. Christie Nicholson reports

March 6, 2010

Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?

Conservatives have greater subjective life satisfaction than liberals, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Two New York University researchers performed three studies to find out why. Christie Nicholson reports.

June 24, 2008