This month some results were published from the now 72 year long Happiness Study at Harvard of 268 wealthy and privileged men. NPR also ran a story on this recently with interviews of the case researchers. What was most striking to me is that in all cases, the money and success were not indicators of happiness. It was having good relationships with other people that was the universal key. Here is a synopsis from the longer Atlantic article on the study.
Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.
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