Human Beings and Happiness Essay

1540 Words 7 Pages
Happiness is a major concern for human beings, and it comes as no surprise that history has yielded many explorations as to what happiness is, and how it can be achieved. These explorations of happiness can be traced back to the philosophical inquiries of classical times, to today’s psychological studies on happiness. While happiness itself is generally difficult to precisely define, the operational definition of happiness relates to what is known as subjective well-being (SWB). In psychological studies, it has been determined that individuals are best suited to assess their own happiness, hence the primacy of SWB. This is in contrast with previous notions of happiness that tie happiness to virtue or any other objective notion of happiness. The subjective and personal assessment of happiness is an indication that can be measured, which is what SWB represents. The conceptualization of happiness as SWB has yielded important components of happiness, namely life satisfaction, or the overall satisfaction of an individual with his own life, satisfaction in life domains, or the satisfaction in work, health, marriage, etc., the dominance of positive affect, which refers to positive moods and emotions, and the diminishment of negative affect, or the negative moods and emotions. A person who has a high SWB also displays high levels of life satisfaction, satisfaction in life domains, and a largely positive affect in his experience. In turn, a person with high SWB is said to be happy.…