Marriage May Make You Happier. That’s what the headline said. I tried to think up a list of the latest happiness studies I’d read. I remembered reading that parents are happiest when doing things with their children. The study prompted researchers to declare that being a parent may make you happier. Were researchers studying happiness and finding links to family? or were they trying to find ways to make the nuclear unit more appealing during a time when it was seemingly on the decline? If their mission was the latter, then it would make sense to link family and happiness. Not every person is invested in the idea of having their own family, but people want to be happy.

I read a bit more about the marriage and happiness research. The study showed that happiness declined as you get older, but marriage mitigated any degeneration. “It’s not that marriage caused their satisfaction level to spike,” the article pointed out, “but instead kept it, at least, stable.” It makes sense that having solid relationships would help keep your happiness at a certain level, but do they have to be marriages? Does having a long-term significant other count? What role do friendships play in keeping happiness levels stable? Do researchers even care? I think it’s important to ask these questions.

What types of questions do you ask whenever you read about new studies and research?

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  • Hi Niema,

    Happiness studies try to convince us that happiness is a function of external factors.

    It goes against wisdom of old, but is kind of an essential ingredient in the economy. Always has been. Happy people don’t buy stuff out of a need to be happy. But for the majority of the populace, the unhappy, happiness as the carrot at the end of the stick is incomparably easier to market to. In a grotesque way, the unhappier they are better, they’ll just buy all the more so. It may explain why after often depressive news programs – after the nooze – TV ads that immediately follow are frequently for anti-acids, sleeping aids and anti-depressants. Just kidding, of course.

    The question I ask whenever I read about new studies and research, especially as it relates to happiness: how can other than unhappy people possibly study happiness? If they’d be happy, they wouldn’t be looking for scientific proof of it, believe you me! So what you have is a bunch of people out there trying to use the key of science to unlock the door to happiness. Nothing short of amazing. I mean these guys are scientists.

    Enjoyed reading your stuff!