Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People mean most for our collective happiness

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Swedish soccer star Zlatan is associated with happiness, but not iPhones. A new study suggests that our collective picture of what makes us happy is more about relationships, and less about things.

Swedish soccer star Zlatan is associated with happiness, but not iPhones. A new study at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Lund University suggests that our collective picture of what makes us happy is more about relationships, and less about things.

News articles published online by Swedish dailies during 2010 were analyzed in the study. By analyzing which words most often occurred in the same articles as the Swedish word for happiness, the researchers could pinpoint our collective happiness.

"It's relationships that are most important, not material things, and this is in line with other findings in happiness research," says Danilo Garcia, researcher in psychology at the Sahlgrenska Academy's Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health.

The article analysis, which embraces more than one and a half million words, shows that words like "Prince Daniel," "Zlatan," "grandmother" and personal pronouns (such as you/me, us/them) often appear with the Swedish word for happiness. Words like "iPhone," "millions" and "Google" on the other hand, almost never appear with the word for happiness.

"This doesn't mean that material things make you unhappy, just that they don't seem to come up in the same context as the word for happiness," says Danilo Garcia.

The study is a part of a larger research project on how people describe both positive and negative events in their lives. The researchers believe that the word analysis reflects a collective perception among the members of our society as to what should make us happy.

"Just as the Beatles sang, most people understand that money can't buy you happiness or love," says Danilo Garcia. "But even if we as individuals can understand the importance of close and warm relationships on a social level, it isn't certain that everyone is aware that such relationships are actually necessary for our own personal happiness."

The study: "A Collective Theory of Happiness: Words Related to the Word 'Happiness' in Swedish Online Newspapers" was published in the scientific periodical Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Danilo Garcia, Sverker Sikstrφm. A Collective Theory of Happiness: Words Related to the Word “Happiness” in Swedish Online Newspapers. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2013; 16 (6): 469 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0535

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "People mean most for our collective happiness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094240.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, October 7). People mean most for our collective happiness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094240.htm
University of Gothenburg. "People mean most for our collective happiness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094240.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins