Sonja Lyubomirsky Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness, a book of strategies backed by scientific research that can be used to increase happiness. She is often quoted in news articles about positive psychology and happiness. In the book The Only Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need, a criticism of self-help books, Lyubomirsky's The How of Happiness is praised as a self-help book that has claims backed by empirical data. Lyubomirsky is also an associate editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology. The How of Happiness Breakdown of sources of happiness, according to The How of Happiness The How of Happiness has spawned an iPhone application called Live Happy, produced by Signal Patterns. The How of Happiness has also spawned a song called The How of Happiness Book Tune, which acts as a mnemonic aid to help readers remember the content within the book.  References See also
Decision Points Explanations > Decisions > Decision Points Description | Discussion | So what Description Across any single activity or a set of related activities, there may be points at which decisions have to be made. These are decision points. Unless there are clear decision points, people often will continue with the momentum of the current activity. In the design or management of an activity, more or less decision points may be deliberately inserted or omitted. Example A person is given five small bags of popcorn. In retail situations there are clear decision points along the way, such as to stop and look in a window, to enter the shop, to try on clothes and to buy particular things. Business decision-making is more difficult as it often requires a number of people to agree before something is purchased, particularly if it is expensive. Discussion Decisions take time, effort, energy and expense, which together is sometimes called the transaction cost. Decision is affected by desires. See also
There Are Two Kinds of People In The World: Those Who Think There Are Two Kinds of People In The World and Those Who Don’t | Dan Spira This page is dedicated to Robert Benchley’s Law of Distinction, namely, that “There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.” Purpose: To provide a completist-like scrapbook for this oft-quoted expression of duality. Methodology: This page is periodically updated with new “there are two kinds of people” statements. Where a statement is attributed source, it’s shown in quotations. Some of the statements are clustered by themes, but mostly, it’s a random assortment. The page also includes sayings that deviate from the strict “there are two types of people” formula, in order to keep things interesting. There are two kinds of people in the world: Generalists and Specialists. There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who make things complicated, and those who make things simple. “There are two kinds of people in the world, those with loaded guns, and those who dig. “There are basically two types of people.
The uses and abuses of 'happiness' The happiness 'movement' has the potential to transform society, but do its proponents know what they're doing? William Davies sets out four strands of the debate - philosophical, statistical, economical and psychological - and shows how confusion between them is hindering progress The launch of Action for Happiness last week generated yet more debate about the meaning and value of happiness. On top of the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) ‘national debate’ on how to define and measure ‘national wellbeing’, one can scarcely open a newspaper nowadays without discovering more political, scientific or pseudo-scientific pronouncements about what does or doesn’t make us happy. In a nation as stubbornly curmudgeonly as Britain, it is no surprise to find that the cynics seem equally delighted to have discovered so much Californian chirpiness to grumble about, right here in their own backyard. There is no reason to dismiss any of this as a flash in the pan.
What It's Like on the Autism Spectrum - James Hamblin Intense stories of family with autism spectrum disorder, as submitted by Atlantic readers barockschloss/flickr In our print magazine this month, Hanna Rosin tells the story of her son Jacob's diagnosis with Asperger syndrome, in the context of the psychiatric community's recent change in the definition of the disorder to part of what's now known as autism spectrum disorder. We received a lot of thoughtful responses from readers who have experience with the disorder in their own lives, themselves or their families, about how the diagnosis has affected them, and what the changes in definition mean to everyone. I remember starting home-based behavioral therapy and that three months after beginning his sessions, Elliott went from speaking approximately 10 words to testing in the low-average range for speech. —Kammy Kramer; Eagan, Minnesota, USA Sean and I went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. That night as Sean slept, I climbed into bed with him. At this point, no one knows Sean better than I do. 1.
Positive psychology in the workplace Implementing positive psychology in the workplace means creating an environment that is relatively enjoyable and productive. This also means creating a work schedule that does not lead to emotional and physical distress. Background According to information provided by The United States Department of Labor, “In 2009 employed persons worked an average of 7.5 hours on the days they worked, which were mostly weekdays. Major theoretical approaches Martin E.P. Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers developed Humanistic Psychology that focuses on the positive potential of people and on helping people to reach their full potential. Peter Warr is highly noted for his early work on work well being. Demand control model Robert A. Job demands-resources The job demands-resources model (JD-R) is an expansion of the DCM and is founded on the same principle that high job demands and high job resources produce employees with more positive work attitudes. Job characteristics model
5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think Keith Chen (TED Talk: Could your language affect your ability to save money?) might be an economist, but he wants to talk about language. For instance, he points out, in Chinese, saying “this is my uncle” is not as straightforward as you might think. In Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger. “All of this information is obligatory. This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? While “futured languages,” like English, distinguish between the past, present and future, “futureless languages” like Chinese use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. But that’s only the beginning. Featured illustration via iStock.
Foot-in-the-door technique The principle involved is that a small agreement creates a bond between the requester and the requestee. Even though the requestee may only have agreed to a trivial request out of politeness, this forms a bond which - when the requestee attempts to justify the decision to themselves - may be mistaken for a genuine affinity with the requester, or an interest in the subject of the request. When a future request is made, the requestee will feel obliged to act consistently with the earlier one. The reversed approach - making a deliberately outlandish opening demand so that a subsequent, milder request will be accepted - is known as the door-in-the-face technique. Classic experiments In an early study, a team of psychologists telephoned housewives in California and asked if the women would answer a few questions about the household products they used.  Environmental applications Examples "Can I go over to Suzy's house for an hour?" Charitable donation Notes
Why we should rethink what we've been told about consciousness Consciousness is one of the great mysteries of science – perhaps the greatest mystery. We all know we have it, when we think, when we dream, when we savour tastes and aromas, when we hear a great symphony, when we fall in love: it is surely the most intimate, the most sapient, the most personal part of ourselves. Yet no one can claim to have understood and explained it completely. There’s no doubt it’s associated with the brain in some way but the nature of that association is far from clear. David Chalmers, a professor at the Australian National University, has dubbed this the “hard problem” of consciousness; but many scientists, particularly those who are philosophically inclined to believe that all phenomena can be reduced to material interactions, deny that any problem exists. Nothing in the present state of knowledge of neuroscience rules this possibility out. The same may well prove to be true with the mystery of consciousness.
7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People While happiness is defined by the individual, I’ve always felt it foolish to declare that nothing can be learned from observing the happiness of others. In our day-to-day lives it is easy to miss the forest for the trees and look over some of the smaller, simpler things that can disproportionally affect our happiness levels. Luckily, we can go off more than just our intuition; there are lots of studies that aim for finding the right behavior that leads to a happier life. 1. Research shows that being “rushed” puts you on the fast track to being miserable. The porridge is just right when you’re living a productive life at a comfortable pace. Feeling like you’re doing busywork is often the result of saying “Yes” to things you are not absolutely excited about. You should be expanding your comfort zone often, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. 2. The number isn’t the important aspect here, it is the effort you put into your relationships that matters. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. How about you?
Uncanny valley In an experiment involving the human lookalike robot Repliee Q2 (pictured above), the uncovered robotic structure underneath Repliee, and the actual human who was the model for Repliee, the human lookalike triggered the highest level of mirror neuron activity. Etymology The concept was identified by the robotics professor Masahiro Mori as Bukimi no Tani Genshō (不気味の谷現象) in 1970. The term "uncanny valley" first appeared in the 1978 book Robots: Fact, Fiction, and Prediction, written by Jasia Reichardt. The hypothesis has been linked to Ernst Jentsch's concept of the "uncanny" identified in a 1906 essay "On the Psychology of the Uncanny". Jentsch's conception was elaborated by Sigmund Freud in a 1919 essay entitled "The Uncanny" ("Das Unheimliche"). Hypothesis This area of repulsive response aroused by a robot with appearance and motion between a "barely human" and "fully human" entity is called the uncanny valley. Theoretical basis Mate selection.
Guide to flirting Why do we flirt? Flirting is much more than just a bit of fun: it is a universal and essential aspect of human interaction. Anthropological research shows that flirting is to be found, in some form, in all cultures and societies around the world. Flirting is a basic instinct, part of human nature. According to some evolutionary psychologists, flirting may even be the foundation of civilisation as we know it. If flirting is instinctive, why do we need this Guide? Like every other human activity, flirting is governed by a complex set of unwritten laws of etiquette. We only become aware of the rules when someone commits a breach of this etiquette – by flirting with the wrong person, perhaps, or at an inappropriate time or place. This is a very obvious example, but the more complex and subtle aspects of flirting etiquette can be confusing – and most of us have made a few embarrassing mistakes. Where to flirt Parties Drinking-places Learning-places Workplace Participant sports/hobbies 1. 2. Posture