Richard Layard stated that ‘happiness comes from outside and within’.

1090 Words Apr 13th, 2014 5 Pages
Richard Layard stated that ‘happiness comes from outside and within’.

Happiness is described as a positive feeling that ranges from Joy to contentment. Everybody would like to be happy. It is believed that people who are happy are more successful, productive, have better relationships and better health. We would like to maintain these feelings when we have them. Richard Layard uses the terms ‘outside’ and ‘within’ to describe where happiness comes from. ‘Outside’ factors include influences like relationships, social identities and culture. ‘Within’ looks at influences such as biology, thoughts and feelings. So the ‘outside’ relates to social influences and ‘within’ relates to personal factors inside the individual. This essay aims to
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This tells us that the ‘outside’ influences of relationships that Layard refers to are essential. (Starting Psychology 2011). Relationships start in the womb and continue throughout life. Early relationships influence the emotional development of children and a securely attached child is confident, has high self-esteem and knows it is loved and valued, creating happiness. The findings from Mary Ainsworth (1978) (cited in Starting Psychology 2011) when she observed one year old babies in her experiment ‘the Strange situation’ confirms this claim. Children played in a room and their reactions were recorded when the parent left and a stranger entered. Securely attached children were happy to explore and play whilst the parent was present, but became distressed when left. They were easily comforted when the parent returned, however when a stranger entered the child could not be comforted and resisted the stranger. Insecurely attached children were less confident in exploring, were indifferent to the presence or absence of the parent and indecisive about whether they wanted comforting or not.

A recent UNICEF report (2007) showed how significant relationships with family and friends are in producing happiness in children. This report was about children’s wellbeing in twenty-one developed countries, and the UK found itself at the bottom of the list, behind poorer countries. The reason for this ranking seemed to be
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