Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos takes us through the latest scientific research on happiness: The Happiness Lab

The Happiness Lab, by Pushkin Industries.

Dr. Laurie Santos is one of the founders of the Gi Joe Fallacy, and also the professor at Yale with the most popular class. Now she has a fabulous new podcast, The Happiness Lab, and Season One is underway.

You can listen to Santos talk about the effectiveness of self-report in measuring happiness, the way our happiness is both shaped by our genetic inheritance and changeable, and so much more.

Santos’s course is offered for free on Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

References from this episode

I’m a huge fan of any podcast that links to the references!

McCooey, S. (2019). Yale admits 5.91 percent of applicants. Yale Daily News, 3/28/19

American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Fall 2018. Silver Spring, MD: American College Health Association; 2018.

Twenge, J. M., Cooper, A. B., Joiner, T. E., Duffy, M. E., & Binau, S. G. (2019). Age, period, and cohort trends in mood disorder indicators and suicide-related outcomes in a nationally representative dataset, 2005–2017. Journal of abnormal psychology. 

Shimer, D. (2018). Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness. New York Times. 1/26/2018.

Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want. Penguin

Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). The myths of happiness: What should make you happy, but doesn’t, what shouldn’t make you happy, but does. Penguin.

Krueger, A. B., & Schkade, D. A. (2008). The reliability of subjective well-being measures. Journal of public economics, 92(8-9), 1833-1845

Sandvik, E., Diener, E., & Seidlitz, L. (2009). Subjective well-being: The convergence and stability of self-report and non-self-report measures. In Assessing well-being (pp. 119-138). Springer, Dordrecht.

De Neve, J. E., & Oswald, A. J. (2012). Estimating the influence of life satisfaction and positive affect on later income using sibling fixed effects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(49), 19953-19958

Harker, L., & Keltner, D. (2001). Expressions of positive emotion in women’s college yearbook pictures and their relationship to personality and life outcomes across adulthood. Journal of personality and social psychology, 80(1), 112

Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Turner, R. B., Alper, C. M., & Skoner, D. P. (2003). Emotional style and susceptibility to the common cold. Psychosomatic medicine, 65(4), 652-657

Burger, J. M., & Caldwell, D. F. (2000). Personality, social activities, job-search behavior and interview success: Distinguishing between PANAS trait positive affect and NEO extraversion. Motivation and Emotion, 24(1), 51-62

Danner, D. D., Snowdon, D. A., & Friesen, W. V. (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: findings from the nun study. Journal of personality and social psychology, 80(5), 804.

Bartels, M. (2015). Genetics of happiness, satisfaction with life, and wellbeing; a review and meta-analysis of heritability studies. Behavior Genetics, 45(2), 137-156.


Vaillant, G. E. (2008). Aging well: Surprising guideposts to a happier life from the landmark study of adult development. Little, Brown.

Kurtz, J. L., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). Towards a durable happiness. In S. J. Lopez & J. G. Rettew (Eds.), The Positive Psychology Perspective Series (Vol. 4). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. 21-36

Lyubomirsky, S., & Layous, K. (2013). How do simple positive activities increase well-being?. Current directions in psychological science, 22(1), 57-62.

Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological science, 13(1), 81-84

Epley, N., & Schroeder, J. (2014). Mistakenly seeking solitude. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(5), 1980.

Schwartz, B. (2004, January). The paradox of choice: Why more is less. New York: Ecco.

Emmons, R., & McCullough, M. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389

Baer, R. A. (Ed.). (2015). Mindfulness-based treatment approaches: Clinician’s guide to evidence base and applications. Elsevier

Oettingen, G. (2015). Rethinking positive thinking: Inside the new science of motivation. Current; 

Kohn, A. (1999). Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want. Penguin

Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). The myths of happiness: What should make you happy, but doesn’t, what shouldn’t make you happy, but does. Penguin.

Butler, J., & Kern, M. L. (2016). The PERMA-Profiler: A brief multidimensional measure of flourishing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 6(3).

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