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The surprising science of happiness - Nancy Etcoff

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Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness -- the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it's untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies.

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In her talk, Nancy Etcoff alludes to different types of happiness [5:34]. With classmates, friends or family, brainstorm as many different types of happiness as you can think of, and create a visual representation that organizes and illustrates your ideas. Just how happy are you? Explore one or more of the many happiness surveys available online. You might start with one of the following: San Francisco State University and The Happiness Initiative’s Youth Survey The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire Harvard’s Track Your Happiness.org Initiative When you compare the three surveys, what common features do you notice? What does that imply about what makes us happy and how we display our happiness? Harvard Magazine: The Science of Happiness (Jan-Feb 2007) Scientific American: The Science of Happiness (10/29/2011) New York Times: Up the Career Ladder, Lipstick in Hand (10/12/2011) [2011 study of how women’s faces are perceived with and without cosmetics; Etcoff was lead researcher]
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