Sunday, August 11, 2013
Positive psychology is all the rage these days, and everybody wants the secret key to happiness. Go figure; everybody wants to be happy. What can evolutionary psychology say about how to be happy?
As usual, I feel compelled to begin with a disclaimer that, as a scientist – as the scientific fundamentalist – I am not in the business of giving advice to people and telling people how to live their lives. That’s the job of counselors and therapists, and, as Jesse Bering explains very clearly in his first post as a PT blogger, these two types of psychologists are entirely different. Just like Jesse, I am a research psychologist, not a clinician. As a scientist, I don’t care if people are happy or not. I just want to know why.
Having said that, however, from my perspective as an evolutionary psychologist, I would say that the best thing for people to do to become happier is to get in touch with
Research on how to increase positive moods and capitalize on your strengths has proliferated in recent years,that thanks to the positive psychology movement, and has shed light on ongoing insights into personality, mood, and cognition. Not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but experts agree we can all learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives.