Anda di halaman 1dari 15

Project Report

Finding Happiness for Privileged and


Mam Faryal Shah
Sana Ziab


Faisal Kareem


Jawad Anwar


How happy are you with your life at this moment? Are you better than ever
before, dont care, or very unhappy? Before answering this question, how
would you define happiness?
Most of us probably dont believe we need a formal definition of happiness;
we know it when we feel it, and we often use the term to describe a range of

positive emotions, including joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude. When

used in a broader sense, the word happiness is synonymous with quality of
life' or well-being'. In this meaning it denotes that life is good, but does not
specify what is good about life. The word is also used in more specific ways,
and these can be clarified with the help of the classification of qualities of
life. Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being,
combined with a sense that ones life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.
(Lyubomirsky The How of Happiness)
Although many people think that wealth leads to happiness, thats not
always the case. Money can certainly help you achieve your goals, provide
for your future, and make life more enjoyable, but merely having the stuff
doesnt guarantee fulfillment. Happiness is something everyone wants to
have. You may be successful and have a lot of money, but without happiness
it will be meaningless.
Thats why we are excited with this theme of Happiness. We will discuss this
topic and for sure we will learn a lot. But, before we move further, its a good
idea to get deeper understanding of the word happiness itself. Understanding
what happiness is will give us good ground upon which to build our
Research in the field of positive psychology and happiness often define a
happy person as someone who experiences frequent positive emotions, such
as joy, interest, and pride, and infrequent (though not absent) negative
emotions, such as sadness, anxiety and anger (Lyubomirsky2005).
Is life really about the 'money', the 'cash', who has the biggest gold chain or
who drives the shiniest or fastest car, who sells the most albums or who has
the most respect? Today happiness is viewed in many different ways.
Everyone defines happiness according to their personal perspectives. Each
individual describes their inner feelings in a way that you can't compare with
another. Happiness originally and logically means the inner state of well
being or a pleasurable or satisfying experience. It enables you to profit from
your highest: thoughts, wisdom, intelligence, common sense, emotions,
health, and spiritual values in your life. Regardless of where you are on the
happiness spectrum, each person has their own way of defining happiness.
Philosophers, actors, politicians, and everybody in between have all weighed
in on their own view of happiness. Below are some definitions of happiness,

According to Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary, here is the definition of

A state of well-being and contentment, a pleasurable or satisfying experience
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in
harmony. Mahatma Gandhi
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the
achievement of ones values. Ayn Rand
Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, onedirectionally, without regret or reservation. William H. Sheldon
Happiness is not something you experience, its something you remember.
Oscar Levant
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace
and gratitude.
Denis Waitley
"Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of
human existence."- Aristotle
The concept of happiness is this simple. What we are striving for lies in
ourselves. It starts from us and ends at us. Happiness is essentially getting
back to our true nature. We are nothing but a pure and divine speck of
cosmic energy. Once we realize this, we will know the ultimate purpose of life
and as Dalai Lama said, The purpose of our life is to be Happy.
Happiness is a state of mind. It is a pleasant emotion made of love, inner
peace, joy, contentment and fulfillment. How happy can we be, depends on
how we choose to act and think. It is an art that can be cultivated by
focusing on small things in life which are often ignored, but carry a lot of
meaning. We all strive and spend our entire lives for achieving success,
money, career and wealth in order to achieve happiness. We keep on striving
without awarding the seeds of happiness - health, relationships, peace of
mind, gratitude, kindness, love, faith and so forth. We need to be aware, we
need to choose happiness!

Literature Review
The idea of and search for happiness has intrigued thinkers for thousands of
years, starting with the Ancient Greeks (e.g. Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics),
but it has only been studied and measured in a systematic way within the
last few decades.
Aristotle sought to define the ultimate end or good in life. He held that all
our pursuits as humans were meant to achieve a final, ultimate good; that
of happiness: Let us resume our inquiry and state, in view of the fact that all
knowledge and every pursuit aims at some good, what it is that we say
political science aims as and what is the highest of all goods achievable by
action. Verbally there is very general agreement; for both the general run of
men and people of superior refinement say that it is happiness, and identify
living well and faring well with being happy; but with regard to what
happiness is they differ, and the many do not give the same account as the
wise (Ross 1998). Aristotle continued his analysis of happiness: Now we
call that which is in itself worthy of pursuit more final than that which is
worthy of pursuit for the sake of something else... and therefore we call final
without qualification that which is always desirable in itself and never for the
sake of something else. Now such a thing is happiness, above all else, is held
to be; for this we choose always for itself and never for the sake of
something else, but honor, pleasure, reason, and every virtue we choose
indeed for themselves (for if nothing results from them we should still choose
each of them), but we choose them also for the sake of happiness, judging
that through them we shall be happy. Happiness, on the other hand, no one
chooses for the sake of these, nor, in general, for anything other than itself
(Ross 1998).
In other words, according to Aristotle, happiness is the ultimate human
purpose of life on Earth.
In 1776, over 2,000 years after Aristotle, the United States Declaration of
Independence argued for certain inalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. As such, America was formed on
the basis of the search for happiness, and this inalienable right was deemed
equal with the rights to life and freedom.

In the United Kingdom (U.K.), Jeremy Benthams utilitarian philosophy helped

popularize the idea of happiness. Benthams greatest happiness principle
argued that the purpose of politics should be to bring the greatest happiness
to the greatest number of people. Since then, political interest in happiness
has persisted within contemporary society.
Furthermore, researchers recently asked a sample of college students from
different countries to rate the importance of several values on a scale from 1
to 9. Happiness came out first with a score of 8.0, slightly above health and
love/affection (7.9), but well above wealth (6.8), among others (Oishi 2004).
Most importantly, happiness is a central criterion of mental health. As is
discussed in more detail below, happiness is associated with a wide range of
tangible benefits, including enhanced physical health, superior coping skills,
better social function, vocational success and even longer life. Clearly, the
search for happiness continues to be of primary political, social and
individual importance in the world today.
In order to discuss finding of happiness and review the relevant literature, it
is necessary to first define some terms such as subjective well-being and
Subjective Well-Being (SWB) refers to how people evaluate their lives and is
the most widely accepted measure of happiness and life satisfaction.
Psychologists Ed Diener and Daniel Kahneman have been particularly
influential in conceiving and developing contemporary notions of
psychological and subjective well-being. According to Diener : Subjective
well-being refers to all of the various types of evaluations, both positive and
negative, that people make of their lives. It includes reflective cognitive
evaluations, such as life satisfaction and work satisfaction, interest and
engagement, and affective reactions to life events, such as joy and sadness.
Thus, subjective well-being is an umbrella term for the different valuations
people make regarding their lives, the events happening to them, their body
and mind, and the circumstances in which they live. Although well-being and
ill-being are subjective in the sense that they occur within a persons
experience, manifestations of subjective well-being and ill-being can be
observed objectively in verbal and nonverbal behavior, actions, biology,
attention, and memory.
Subjective well-being is typically measured by asking individuals a single
questions aimed at eliciting a global evaluation of ones life, such as: All
things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these

days? or, Taken all together, would you say that you are very happy, pretty
happy, or not too happy? The results of these SWB measurements display
moderately high levels of cross-situational consistency and temporal
stability [and] show adequate validity, reliability, factor invariance, and
sensitivity to change (Diener 1994).
Happiness itself has two distinct manifestations: ephemeral and authentic
happiness. Ephemeral happiness refers to brief and emotional episodes
marked by pleasure (such as the joy an individual may feel when they have
made a new purchase), whereas authentic happiness refers to an underlying
state of satisfaction with ones life marked by pleasure, engagement and
meaning (Seligman 2002). Often, what leads to ephemeral happiness at a
given moment in time may not be the same as what produces authentic
happiness, or long-term positive SWB.
The field of positive psychology has also developed a more nuanced formula
for defining happiness that supports the notion that authentic happiness (vs.
ephemeral happiness) is a more holistic and valid measure of true happiness
and that ephemeral happiness (or pleasure) is only one of three components
(and the least important of the three) in determining an overall measure of
happiness. The formula used by positive psychologists is: Pleasure +
Engagement (the depth of involvement with ones family, work, romance and
hobbies or flow: the feeling we get when we loose track of time because
we are utterly engrossed in what we are doing, or) + Meaning (using
personal strengths to serve some larger end, doing something worthwhile) =
Happiness. According to Seligman (2002) This is newsworthy because so
many Americans build their lives around pursuing pleasure. It turns out that
engagement and meaning are much more important.
A wealth of evidence exists demonstrating that happiness has numerous
positive byproducts (Lyubomirsky and others 2003). For example, happy
people have stronger social relationships (Hansen 1996,), superior work
outcomes (Pelled 1995), and more activity, energy, and flow (Seligman
2002,) and more likely to show better coping abilities
Further evidence for the association between happiness and positive mental
health, physical health, and general success in life comes from research on
positive emotions. Happiness involves the experience of frequent positive
affect and infrequent negative affect (Ross 1997), and these chronic positive
emotions yield numerous benefits. Beyond making people feel good,

positive emotions broaden their thought-action repertoires and build

durable physical, social, and intellectual resources (Isen 1999).
Overall, happy individuals are more likely to be flourishing people, both
inwardly and outwardly. As a result, enhancing peoples happiness levels
may indeed be a worthy scientific goal, especially after their basic physical
and security needs are met.
Although there is no one key to achieving happiness, positive psychology has
demonstrated that there are in fact a specific set of ingredients that prove
vital in achieving happiness. These include having strong, positive
relationships with family and friends, believing that ones life has meaning
and having goals embedded in your long-term values that you find
enjoyable, are working towards and employ your strengths and abilities
(Seligman 2002). The shorthand formula positive psychologists have
developed and continue to research is simply that pleasure plus engagement
plus meaning equals happiness (BBC 2007).
According to Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, there is
indeed a formula for achieving lasting happiness: H = S + C + V
In this equation, H is defined as authentic/enduring happiness, S is your set
range, C is the circumstances in ones life, and V represents factors under
your voluntary behavioral control.
According to Seligman, the S variable is, in part, genetically predetermined.
During the 1980s, personality studies of twins and adopted children
demonstrated two interesting facts: 1. the psychology of identical twins is far
more similar than that of fraternal twins, and 2. adopted children are more
similar to their biological parents then their adopted ones. These and other
studies demonstrate, according to Seligman, that roughly 50% of most
personality traits can be attributed to genetic inheritance (even though
heritability doesnt mean the trait is unchangeable). In other words, Roughly
half of your score on happiness tests is accounted for by the score your
biological parents would have gotten had they taken the test. This may mean
that we inherit a steersman who urges us toward a specific level of
happiness or sadness (Seligman 2002).
This steersman results in a happiness thermostat: a fixed and primarily
inherited level of happiness (S, the set range) that we eventually revert to
despite temporary periods of extreme joy or sadness beyond or below that

In addition, it is often challenging to raise ones level of happiness because

of what has been referred to as the Hedonic Treadmill. The Hedonic
Treadmill refers to the tendency of humans to rapidly adapt to both positive
and negative life experiences and retain a relatively stable level of happiness
regardless of circumstances. In other words, this theory suggests that
happiness, for most people, is a relatively stable and constant state. Indeed,
studies have shown that major events, such as being fired or promoted, have
extremely low correlations to happiness (Seligman 2002).
Taken together to form the S variable, ones set range, genetic steersman
and hedonic treadmill tend to prevent ones level of happiness from
increasing in a sustainable way.
Indeed, there is relatively little scientific support for the idea that peoples
happiness levels can permanently change for the better. For example, the
happiness-enhancing techniques proposed in the copious self-help literature
generally have little grounding in scientific theory, and little empirical
confirmation of their effectiveness (Zuckerman 2000).
Unfortunately, contemporary academic psychology doesnt provide much
guidance. Research psychologists have identified many predictors of
peoples general or average levels of happiness or SWB. For example,
studies of concurrent SWB have shown that it is influenced by a variety of
factors, including demographic status (Myers 2000), personality traits (Lucas
1999. Furthermore, despite these advances, little is known about how to
change SWB that is, the possibility of becoming happier. One explanation
is that few studies have examined SWB longitudinally (Diener 1999). Another
reason for this neglect is the difficulty of conducting longitudinal and
intervention studies, a problem that is further compounded by the dearth of
applied researchers focusing on positive mental health rather than on
pathology. Finally, a major reason for the neglect of this question is the
considerable scientific pessimism over whether it is even possible to boost
Indeed, there is only a small amount of scientific research focused on how
SWB can be increased, much less sustained. Although some of this research
has concluded that the pursuit of happiness is all but futile due to our
genetic predispositions and the hedonic treadmill, some researchers argue
that sustainable increases are indeed possible. Positive psychologists, for
example, maintain that it is possible to make someone a happier; as much as

10-15%. In addition, Sonja Lyubomirsky believes that an individuals chronic

happiness level is governed by three classes of factors (1) his or her
genetically-determined set point (or set range) for happiness, which is
relatively immune to influence, (2) happiness-relevant circumstantial factors
(such as location, income, and marital status), which are difficult but not
impossible to change, and (3) intentional cognitive, motivational, and
behavioral activities that can influence well-being, and are feasible but
effortful to deploy (Lyubomirsky 2008). Lyubomirsky goes on to state that It
is through the intentional activities in the third class that we believe that
sustainable increases in well-being are possible.
The fact is that happiness can and does improve with time. For example, a
22-year study that followed approximately 2,000 healthy veterans found that
life satisfaction increased over these mens lives, peaked at age 65, and did
not start notably declining until age 75 (Spiro 2005). A positive correlation
between age and well-being measures has also been found in a 23-year
longitudinal study of four generations of families (Gatz 2001) and in a crosssectional study of adults aged 17 to 82 (Kasser 2001). Although these data
are merely suggestive, they imply the possibility that true changes in wellbeing may be related to peoples capacity to resist adaptation.

Determinants of Happiness
what is known about the conditions, lifestyles and behaviors that lead to
happiness? In order to better understand the etiology of happiness, it is
important to first examine the characteristics of individuals who rate
themselves highly in SWB surveys. According to Diener (1996), these
individuals tend to have high levels of self-esteem; viewing them as
healthier, smarter, easier to get along with, more ethical and less prejudiced
than others. They feel in control of their lives and are both optimistic and
Additional research has shown that personal psychological factors (including
those mentioned above) account for 30% of the variation in happiness levels,
25% are attributed to life events (marriage/divorce, a birth/death, illness),
10% is attribute to social engagement (including work and marriage), and
only 10% is associated with wealth (Pusey 1998).
Many happiness studies point towards social relationships (including
marriage and relationships with friends and family) as the most critical

determinant of happiness (Hamilton 2004). Other determinants include:

healthy marriage, job satisfaction and spirituality (Keyes 1995). In addition,
A sense of meaning and purpose is the single attitude most strongly
associated with life satisfaction (Wearing 1998).
According to Seligman, if you want to lastingly raise your level of happiness
by changing the external circumstances of your life you should do the
1. Live in a wealthy democracy, not in an impoverished dictatorships (a
strong effect)
2. Get married (a robust effect, but perhaps not causal)
3. Avoid negative events and negative emotion (only a moderate effect)
4. Acquire a rich social network (a robust effect, but perhaps not causal)
5. Get religion (a moderate effect)
As far as happiness and life satisfaction are concerned, however, you neednt
bother to do the following:
6. Make more money (money has little or no effect once you are comfortable
enough to buy this book, and more materialistic people are less happy)
7. Stay healthy (subjective health, not objective health matters)
8. Get as much education as possible (no effect)
9. Change your race or move to a sunnier climate (no effect)
(Seligman 2002)
Many of these studies demonstrate that happiness is often defined by
relative factors: Personal happiness depends on what people have
compared with what they want, what they expect, and what other people
have. This leads naturally to an exploration of the goals people set for
themselves. In other words, the determinants of happiness are not simply
given and immutable - part of the human condition and therefore beyond
influence by social organization and public policies. The goals people set are
strongly influence by social expectations, which can change rapidly
(Hamilton 2004).

Type of Research
The type of research that we will be using in this study is qualitative
research. These type of researches aim to gather an in-depth understanding
of human behavior and it aims to find the reasons that govern such kind of
behavior. Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. This type of
research is used to achieve an understanding of underlying reasons,
opinions, and motivations. Qualitative Research is also used to uncover
trends in thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative
data collection methods vary using unstructured or semi-structured
techniques. Some common methods include focus groups (group
discussions), individual interviews, and participation/observations.

Overview of the Research Design

Our research focuses on Happiness for privileged and underprivileged, for
this purpose Interviews will be conducted with the people who are privileged
and those who are underprivileged.
A complete overview of the research would be given to the participants
before interviewing the participants and they would be asked if they are
willing to give the interview with their consent. We plan to conduct
interviews with 20 people. The answers of the participants will be video
recorded during the interview.

Importance of Interviews in Qualitative Research

We will be conducting interviews to get the required answers for our
research. We selected interview because it is more important in qualitative

researches and there are many benefits of interviews in qualitative research.

The qualitative research interview seeks to describe and the meanings of
central themes in the life world of the subjects. The main task in interviewing
is to understand the meaning of what the interviewees say. (Kvale,1996)
Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participants
experiences. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around the
topic. (McNamara,1999)

The participants in this research will be coming from two locations- Bahria
Town Islamabad and Slum areas of sector H9; we chose these two areas
because of the conditions present in the areas that are relevant to the study
and also as it fits our time frame and resources. The participants will be
asked for their consent and approval for the interview until the desired
number of respondents which is 20 is reached.

Research Questions:
The research questions for this study were:

What is the meaning of happiness for you and how do you define it?
What are the things that make you happy?
Are you satisfied with your life?
Do you think money is necessary to live a happy and prosperous life?

Research Objectives:
The research objectives for this study were:
1. To compare the happiness of privileged and underprivileged
2. To identify the factors associated with the happiness of privileged as
well as underprivileged.
3. Is money really playing a vital role in their pursuit of happiness?
4. To find that the meaning of happiness is same for privileged and
underprivileged or not.

Our research was concerned with the happiness of privileged and
underprivileged people, The research objective was to identify the factors
associated with the happiness of privileged and underprivileged people, and
to find whether money is important in pursuit of happiness and can money
buy happiness.
We would like to conclude that Money doesnt buy happiness, neither does
poverty, and that Wealth Doesn't Make the Rich Happier, But Poverty Makes
the Poor Sadder
As the most significant sign of wealth, possessing a large sum of money has
become a pursuit of many people, especially the younger generation, around
the world. They are convinced of that happiness can be bought by sufficient

money. However, we found the fact that happiness is not just determined by
one factor but many others such as your friends, relatives, and pleasant
It seems natural to assume that rich people will be happier than others,
But money is only one part of psychological wealth, so the picture is
There is a strong correlation between wealth and happiness, Rich people are
happier than their poor counterparts; While there does appear to be some
correlation between happiness and income when basic needs are not yet
met, but note that moneys impact on happiness isnt as large as you might
think. If you have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over your head,
increased disposable income has just a small influence on your sense of wellbeing.
So, yes, money can buy some happiness, but as youll see, its just one piece
of the puzzle. And theres a real danger that increased income can actually
make you miserableif your desire to spend grows with it. . Finally: how
people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money
they earn. Specifically, spending more of ones income on others results in
greater happiness. So go ahead, be generous. Youll be glad you did.

When doing research we faced difficulties in finding people and
approaching them. In future one must be proactive in searching people
to get samples.

We were not being able to get interviews of the females because they
were quite hesitant. In future they should be convinced on order to get
accurate results.
Sometimes, people do not want to share their personal life experiences
with others, so we should used those methods for research which
innovate people to share their life experiences with others whether to
hesitate. So in this way we can get accurate answers from people.