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Does a higher level of education increase happiness?

Education can provide a better understanding of the world. Does education and its effects increase likeliness of being happier? I am speaking particularly of standard post-high school education.

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    Mar 8 2014: It doesn't. Happiness has nothing to do with being well educated, or haviing an abundance of pleasure or having a fat bank account.
    Happiness has nothing to do with being well informed or being sophisticated.
    Happiness has more to do with appreciating what one has as one persists in search of what he/she desires.
    We've seen happy prisoners and unhappy billionnaires. It's all about attitude; and it is a choice.

    I will be giving a TEDx talk on the theme "In Pursuit of Happiness" next month. Please watch out for the video.
    • Mar 10 2014: Science disagrees with you:
      Murrell SA, Salsman NL. Meeks S. 2003. Educational attainment, positive psychological mediators, and resources for health and vitality in older adults. J Aging Health. 15:591-615.

      Kubzansky LD1, Berkman LF, Glass TA, Seeman TE. 1998. Is educational attainment associated with shared determinants of health in the elderly? Findings from the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Psychosom Med. 60:578-85.
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        Mar 10 2014: And on this one, I disagree with science.
        • Mar 10 2014: So let's see your evidence? What's your sample size? What specific methods did you employ? Or are you just making things up like a flat-earther or climate-denier?
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          Mar 10 2014: giving an opinion is providing evidence of that opinion, Bryan. do you understand the concept behind TED conversations..? of opinion?

          oh, and sample size? lol. crack me up.

          "but we did the survey in a temperature controlled room and all 25 random participants were asked the same question in the same tone so now all we do is we simply have to apply our findings to everyone on the planet".
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        Mar 10 2014: Science is as limited as humanity. The more we know, the more we know that we dont know much.
        Issues of happiness, love, truth and ethics are not in the domain of science.
        • Mar 10 2014: In other words, you're a flat-earther. You just blindly say "nonononononononono" and stop up your ears like any other extremist.
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          Mar 26 2014: The scientific method is probably the most profound human invention so far.

          The more we know the more we know. Even knowing there is more we don't know is an achievement IMO,

          Science, evidence, has a rule in understanding love, truth, ethics, and happiness.

          If there is evidence better educated people are more happy than less educated people on average, you can ignore that if you please, but it may indicate you are operating under some false assumptions, and may limit your understanding, and reduce the value of your conclusions.

          Seems like you are missing out on a huge range of scientific insights on happiness.
        • Apr 4 2014: but they are studied none the less.
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        Mar 10 2014: Can you provide links to the first papers?
        re: the first paper:
        What principles are "positive psychology based on?
        Re: the second:
        This research does not directly address causation of happiness, but rather association.

        "Low levels of education were associated with poorer psychological function (less mastery, efficacy, happiness), less optimal health behaviors (increased tobacco consumption and decreased levels of physical activity), poorer biological conditions (decreased pulmonary function, increased body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio), and larger social networks (increased number of contacts, decreased negative support). Several factors (alcohol consumption, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) were nonlinearly related to educational attainment."
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        Mar 11 2014: The name-calling is not neccessary. I still dont agree with science. Emotions are real and science cant measure or quantify it.
        You need to snap back to the reality of life here on earth: Science and technology is not the cure-all drug.
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      Mar 11 2014: One of the dilemmas here is that is scientific investigation is required to demonstrate something.
      In this case the Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Daniel Kahneman, who also addressing the question of happiness in his TEDTalk, has found that money does afford us with a degree of happiness.
      Here is the research:

      http://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489.full
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        Mar 11 2014: Thanks Theodore. I agree with you and with the learned Nobel Prize winner.
        I'm just detailed enough to differentiate between 'Happiness' and 'A degree of happiness'.
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      Mar 11 2014: ...and good luck with you TEDx talk. It is a great opportunity to be a speaker at such an event.
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      Mar 13 2014: Feyisayo,

      I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Maloney. How many unhappy billionaires? How many happy prisoners? How many unhappy educated people? How many happy uneducated people?

      How can one measure happiness? Just because someone looks happy doesn't mean he/she is really happy. Many people who seem to be happy are in reality miserable.

      “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
      ― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Othe Essays

      http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8202-most-men-lead-lives-of-quiet-desperation-and-go-to

      "Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every f*****g time." Jordan Belfort - The Wolf of Wall Street

      http://mymoviequotes.com/2013/the-wolf-of-wall-street-movie-quotes/quote-line/229179/


      I've known ignorance and poverty myself. It's not fun!
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        Mar 13 2014: There is no nobility in poverty. I've never been poor; but I would be happier with a multimillion dollar movie deal.
        Money is good.

        I think the ignorant folks could be happy; since they dont think too much. There's a thin line between thinking too much and worrying too much. And it's quite easy to cross that line.
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          Mar 26 2014: With this, I agree most passionately. Ignorance is bliss, after all!

          I am an over-thinker and highly inquisitive. Currently, I am the unhappiest I've ever been. I am being pushed to get an education, yet I am tormented by the thought of returning to school and being part of a system that I so fundamentally oppose. I want to be different and achieve things that others perceive as unrealistic (simply because they are not 'typical'). Yet, I am pushed to be just like everyone else: Get an education, find a job with the degree, make enough money to support my and my spouse's livelihood and live "happily ever after".

          It's enough pressure to make me insane! Which I think proves that I've crossed from "thinking" to "worrying". I feel that the people around me have facilitated this worry, though. I could be a "happy thinker" if everyone else around me didn't think I was some sort of "worrisome dreamer".
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        Mar 26 2014: Chey Brown, Ignorance would have been bliss if selfishness were a virtue; but humanity needs knowledge, and the happiness of an ignorant fellow hardly benefits humanity.
        It is better to have the happiness of an educated and enlightened human being.
        Now, benefitting human beings with one's knowledge is not like some grand quest; but a scientist that discovers the cure for cancer is to be preferred than an ignorant happy folk who does nothing but eat, fart, smokes weed and gets fat.

        You, Chey Brown, are the architect of your unhappiness. Going to school (the traditional system) is not education in the holistic sense of it; it is just a system that provides you with the discipline and community of intellectuals. Education is a personal responsibility, and it is a life-long pursuit. The fact that you went to a university does not mean you should be stuck in their ways.

        I'm reading about Martha Nussbaum, who was able to give unique and profound insights to philosophy, despite going through the traditional school system.

        For happiness, for education, the choice is yours. Find a way or give excuses.
    • Mar 27 2014: I believe there must be a balance between having an education that will make you earn enough money so that you don't have to worry about bills and be depressed. The opposite is true too, having too much money can cause one to be busy enough that they lose their connection to their surroundings that make life worth living.

      The opinions maybe different to minority of others because they are able to connect themselves to the positive parts in life and smile.
    • Apr 2 2014: Feyisavo:

      You must be very smart and well educated. I understand your point of view.

      However for a ordinary person bank account eliminates lot of events that may make him unhappy. Poor man may not be able to take his family out for dinner to a good restaurant or buy wife a decent gift or send a son to our of state University. These issues causes unhappiness that is felt. One wishes one is able to do those things. Little people (not used as insult but to make a point) have little pleasures and more often that can be had for better finances/

      I will wait to hear you speak. Thank you.
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    Mar 18 2014: I would say happiness is related to the educational level of the society that one is likely to live in, and how stable and sustainable it is.

    If I lived in a society of hunter/gatherers, then I would be very happy only training myself to the level of hunter/gatherer. There would be no need for me to educate myself beyond that point. Hunter/gatherer lifestyles are stable, in tune with it's surroundings and therefore less subject to big changes.

    In a society of highly educated people, it would be necessary for me to educate myself as near as I can get, to that perceived level in order to be happy. The stability of such a society would depend on my ability to keep my knowledge and ways of thinking continuously up to date.

    Happiness is also affected by what we value as 'achievement'. The value markers we put on certain types of educational achievement have become distorted and inappropriate for today's changing society - especially one that is undeniably in transit from one epoch to another. That is to say, we are busy educating ourselves to perpetuate a past society rather than to envision a future one.

    If, on the cusp of colossal societal and environmental change, our education system stagnates in conservatism, happiness would be progressively less possible.
  • Mar 7 2014: Yes and no. You have more knowledge but more questions that keep you up at night.
    • Mar 7 2014: Hi Dear wayne,I don't think more questions isn't a good thing:)
      • Mar 9 2014: These questions have no easy answer - keeps you up at night - 8>))
        • Mar 14 2014: Hi Dear wayne,LOL,if so,you are gonna be a great thinker soon,or already?Anyhow I think it isn't good for health.I strongly recommend'meditation' to you,it helps you thinking and as well as sleep soundly.
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    Mar 8 2014: Tai, There are those who see education as a goal and others who see it as a journey. I know PHd's who are great people and some that are snobs and not very nice.

    If we had a island where no one had a formal education .... what would be the percentage of happy VS unhappy.

    Would that percentage be comparable to the Boston area where many colleges and universities exist?

    Those who accept education as a journey are more likely to be happy than those who achieved the GOAL of being educated.

    Just sayin .....

    Be well. Bob.
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      Apr 2 2014: i agree completely , education is a journey not the end : )
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    Mar 7 2014: It depends upon the people's way of thinking , isn't it ?? how dangerous is electricity , aren't we using it ? in fact we cannot live without it .. how are we using that without getting hurt ? just because of Education . Getting Higher level of Education can surely get happiness !! no doubt in that according to me , but we must use the way in which it must be used ! A Highly Talented person is like a candle , like the light of the candle his talent and education will give light to others life ; he can ignite the lives of many , showing the right path . who hates to solve the most typical problem in Mathematics and Physics ? i agree , now a days due to lack of wisdom , people are misusing Education but how can we say this is only because of getting higher education ? Education and Knowledge in any righteous form is really the only key to happiness . It fills one with confidence and strong will . even though one lose all his wealth and property , if he is educated ,he won't commit suicide for that , he will make a new start as he possess something ( i.e., knowledge) which cannot be stolen or destructed ! due to the lack of moral content and proper guidance people are unable to use their education fruitfully otherwise we would be visiting the other planets like other countries by now : ) this is not something to insult someone's views , it's just my view !
  • Mar 16 2014: Tai, your question caused a real explosion, like a bomb! It seems to me that we need to talk about that because people split up in two different categories. Those who think that learning and studying enrich human soul and mind, and other who believe that happiness is something precious which has nothing to do with knowledge. Actually, I am inclined to believe they are both right. Study derives from "studium", which means love, passion, in the sense of devoted commitment. As a matter of fact this, indeed, may produce happiness somehow. On the other hand, it goes without saying that each of us knows people with lower education who are happy. The pivotal point is : when it comes to happiness why to struggle with finding a formula? Couldn't we try to encompass the other? If we are confident of what makes us happy why not to notice what makes other people happy and start to gain a benificial outcome from that?
  • Mar 12 2014: The question is very broad to provide an accurate answer, in my opinion. The assumption of the question is that "higher levels of education = happier people". That component alone may or may not be true. There are a wide variety of under-lying factors to consider.

    For example, what are you doing with the education? Are you a PhD who works as a custodian who is happy to be a custodian? Income level tends to be higher in an educated population, which means more stable folks who could be happier. Is it only the education that makes you happier? What other factors need to be considered in this equation? Are you working in your field of study for example? If you aren't does that mean your education failed you or helped you to be happy if you like your job?

    To narrow happiness simply to education level itself is a difficult case to make. Not impossible, but difficult to put that as the only indicator of happiness in the individual.

    My own opinion, it definitely helps.
  • Mar 7 2014: With adequate access to basic necessities, I see relationships as the most important part of the equation. Unfortunately, society makes it difficult to be satisfied with less ambitious education goals? The balance is different for everyone.
    • Mar 9 2014: I agree regarding relationships, Tai. It is much more difficult to maintain relationships with those who cannot communicate at the same intellectual level. Of course, the same could be said about relationship challenges with those who are more open or closely guarded.
  • Mar 7 2014: Hi Dear Tai,I deem so.But I would like to mention some words about education what I think.I think here higher level of education it surely doesn't mean how many years you have studied at school or what degrees you got from school.I think higher levely of education means those people who can keep on thinking critical,reading,listening,watching,observing...So obviously what you meant particularly of standard post-post high school education you meant.I don't think that works for more happiness.
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    Mar 7 2014: People need to make the decisions that suit them, but higher education typically gives you some tools for better understanding the world, for more effective life-long learning, and for greater career flexibility, aside from the intrinsic pleasure of learning with peers and in connection with scholars and people doing research at the cutting edge of their fields.

    Most but not all people find fulfillment in rising to challenges and being prompted to think about ideas in the broader ways higher education promotes.

    It is really important, I think, to try to choose a university or college that suits you in the sense of supporting your growth in the areas that interest you.
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    Apr 3 2014: the only true happiness in life lies in knowledge
    the more understanding you have of yourself and of the world the more joy your bound to gain:)
  • Apr 3 2014: Happiness increases with faith, peace of mind, and contentment with what one is given in life. Also real happiness is a state of the mind and the spirit that can't be changed. Happy people are the ones who are able to smile even under pressure and thank God for everything happening in their lives. Education can help people better adapt to life, find better jobs (theoretically) and have a higher social status. But even if a person has this all but can't appreciate it, he will never be happy.
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    Apr 2 2014: of course , attitude is what matters but we define attitude through Education , isn't it ? even to appreciate what one has as one persists in search of what he/she desires one must be educated, right ? importantly, education is not only about learning a set of particular subjects or books , it's about learning new things also. if the human race had not possessed the desire of knowledge , today we would not be able to live a life like this , we would be hunting in the wild like the early men. We've seen prisoners because of lack of education, if they know that they are committing a mistake they won't do it, who cares if a prisoner is happy or sad ? he is a person who did hurt the other, right ? .. Getting educated is not only meant for earning a number of degrees and PhD's or for having a fat bank account or being a billionaire , it's more than that. education is that which brought a revolution in the way of thinking and standard of living of mankind. let's say, A person, who is living happily is suffering from cancer unfortunately then should he die happily if he possess a very positive attitude and being uneducated or live happily by taking treatment if he possess education. one can be surely happy without education only when one has the support and guidance of the educated. here, education is not an opposite word of attitude ! to say that the one having a better attitude has nothing to do with education for happiness. education is a tree which possess the roots of positive attitude , gives the knowledge in the form of shade to every one who approach it , And the fruits and flowers which resemble the strength to live better with happiness... what i want to say is education strengthens our attitude , which make us live more happier than before. without education the people live their whole life in the illusion of being happy which is named as attitude by a few ..
  • Apr 2 2014: All expansion of horizons of mind increases potential of happiness; It increases our ability to resolve puzzles. A person goes to drug store and know what medicine will solve his headache or stomach acid is better off than one who has no idea what will resolve his stomach ache.

    However to answer a question with higher level of formal education is complicated. Zimmerman of Facebook and Steve Jobs can have a greater happiness even though they dropped out from formal educational process compared to many Harvard graduates with honor/
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    Mar 27 2014: I think a stronger social life and wider variety in activities in life increases happiness in life
  • Mar 27 2014: I don't think so, happiness of each person is not different, it belong to the expectation of person. So, you more study more up higher level, you will hope your life more richer, you dream much more, you hope life level up. You only get a happy really when you know exactly what you want
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    Mar 25 2014: It doesn't. I think happiness has nothing to do with the level of education. Nowadays I'm a postgraduate student in a university of Qingdao, I feel very happy because I make my dream come true. When I was a undergraduate student in a college of Beijing, I aimed to continue my study at a high level. So when I admitted
    into this university, I was so happy I got what I want. I think happiness concern with desire in our life, if you are very satisfied with your life, you are happy.
  • Mar 24 2014: I agree with those who've answered that happiness is a state of mind - it is not necessarily inherent in education. I think the happiness or not that is derived from education comes from two facets:
    1) The tone or message of the education, be it optimistic/positive or pessimistic/negative. I think this matter of tone has an overwhelming effect on how the education is perceived, which is one of the reasons I love TED so much - discussions are often so optimistic in presenting solutions that they provide a strong counter to the overwhelmingly negative popular media.
    2) The additional benefits derived from being educated, being security, a sense of understanding the world, and improvement of one's position in society. This is a strong motivator for me personally, but I think it eventually has diminishing returns. Once a sufficient level of security and status are achieved, further achievements don't bring us the same additional happiness (as has been noted in several TED talks - I'll have to add some citations).

    It would seem that, yes or no, whether or not education makes you happy depends on what you stand to gain from it relative to your current position.
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    Mar 18 2014: This may seem counter intuitive, however I think there is a possibility that the opposite may occur more often.

    I am certainly not a leading authority on this, but in my experience I find that the happiest people I know are often NOT well educated. My little theory is quite simple, ignorance is bliss! As long as life is not giving you a rough time it can be nice for some people to keep things simple, do your day job, come home to your humble abode, watch and maybe in speculate on some news, have some food etc and do it all again the next day!

    Of course one mould certainly does not fit all, and to assume simplicity equals happiness would be foolish. But I certainly would not assume that a good education can translate into happiness, at the very best I would assert there may be an indirect link in that the fruits of a good education can help improve ones lot at finding whatever helps to give them happiness...
  • Mar 10 2014: Doesn't this run contrary to "ignorance is bliss"?
  • Mar 9 2014: I've seen suggestions that the happiest people are the stupidest - who don't know the awful truth ...

    (have you even seen a group of mongoloid/Down's Syndrome folk on a group tour - the widest smiles, etc.)

    another analogy - buddhist - frustration is the gap between expectations and reality - if you drop the gap (as I did via meditation) and have no expectations, then anything can be delightful - while people around me are whingeing and complaining - why aren't things the way I want !? - I simply observe and delight in a perfect fallen leaf, a new flower, in the play of sunlight through the window, in the gentle breeze at perfect temperature wafting

    happiness as a sensory pleasure will only ever be momentary as tastebuds, etc. are quickly satiated or habituated and no longer enjoyed - happiness as a lingering contentment with your life choices - can abide - and the longest lasting happiness tends to come from - helping others

    I tend to say - focus on self is a downward spiral to depression - focus on helping others is an upward spiral to joy - choose - wisely ...
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    Mar 8 2014: Generally speaking, any knowledge should be aimed first of all for knowing better and doing better//good. Whether any knowledge makes its knower happier, depends upon how the knower interprets and uses that knowledge. As we see today and seen in the past, when knowledge is gained mainly for selfish purposes like competition, getting rich, gaining power, accumulating excessive materialistic possessions, knowing more than others, knowing just because others want to know and so on, the education or knowledge will not increase happiness or it will just give a temporary feeling of happiness.
  • Mar 7 2014: I believe higher education does not directly correlate to happiness. First of all with more knowledge you have more awareness of the troubles of the world and the higher your education goes I feel the more you will feel pressured to change those problems in the world. Also I feel like happiness is more involved in satisfaction with life, not the amount of knowledge you gain.
    • Mar 10 2014: Science disagrees with you:
      Murrell SA, Salsman NL. Meeks S. 2003. Educational attainment, positive psychological mediators, and resources for health and vitality in older adults. J Aging Health. 15:591-615.

      Kubzansky LD1, Berkman LF, Glass TA, Seeman TE. 1998. Is educational attainment associated with shared determinants of health in the elderly? Findings from the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Psychosom Med. 60:578-85.
  • Mar 7 2014: Yes.
    Murrell SA, Salsman NL. Meeks S. 2003. Educational attainment, positive psychological mediators, and resources for health and vitality in older adults. J Aging Health. 15:591-615.

    Kubzansky LD1, Berkman LF, Glass TA, Seeman TE. 1998. Is educational attainment associated with shared determinants of health in the elderly? Findings from the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Psychosom Med. 60:578-85.
  • Mar 5 2014: I believe that the status of being a college graduate can provide psychological benefits among other things. I am open for discussion.
  • Apr 6 2014: A lot of people here have given some silly answers and then started arguments with each other about science and nature and whatnot.

    Everyone has their own feelings, ideas, emotions, their own universe. I find that the more educated I am, the happier I am. And I don't mean "education" as in "formal education", like degrees. I mean education as in being able to:

    Read Adam Smith and Karl Marx and Milton Friedman and contrast their ideas as impartially as possible, then choosing what economic policies you would enact if you were Obama or George Bush.

    Reading the Holy Books of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism and then thinking about the Philosophy of Religion, and which is the most advanced and realistic. Or which one you feel most strongly about (positively or negatively).

    Learning maths proofs from the ground up, training yourself to solve complex problems that don't involve much technical knowledge but a lot of thinking. Then go about learning the technical stuff.

    Analyse whether doctors are really qualified to do their job, and make the decisions they make about others' lives, and whether they deserve all the praise they get in society. It's not about whether they working hard (100 hours a week or whatever), it's about whether they are making diagnoses, whether they are performing the right clinical studies. Do they have the education to respond to the effects of disease in the human body?

    These are a small fraction of the many things I think about on a daily basis. I read, read, and read some more. I hate studying stuff that doesn't interest me. But I find that the more I hear about something, the more I want to learn it. When I learn what Einstein accomplished, I want to accomplish something on THAT level.

    That is what makes me happy. The ambition to learn, to accomplish. I do not see how someone can not attain happiness through education. To put it better, the alternative to being educated is remaining ignorant: a black hole of darkness and despair.
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    Apr 6 2014: As someone who is currently doing an MBA degree, I am confident it does not. When I look at people who have not studied anything after high school, the majority seem happy indeed. This was only a recent realization for me that came from reflecting deeply upon my reasons for this MBA.

    Degrees or technical knowledge allow you to become more specalised in your work, therefore increase your value and income, but it has no relationship to happiness. Happiness is much more related to how you feel about yourself and the people (family, friends) around you. It's very difficult to give love or affection to your work colleagues. Remember that.
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    Apr 6 2014: I think it increases the illusion of happiness because of the promise of wealth which attributes to our idea of what it means to be happy. I think it has to do with classism. We've come to believe that higher level education somehow will benefit us in the long run and eventually lead us to a great job and a great life, yet the truth is far from that. The employment rate amongst graduates is still low and a large number of people end up working for minimum wage, regardless of their educational background. So it depends on your definition of happiness I suppose, which is extremely subjective. The best way to increase happiness is to learn through experiences and getting to know what you want for yourself, which can be partially aided through higher education but is primarily achieved by simply living life according to your own values, not that of any institution.
  • Apr 5 2014: It doesn't neccesarily have to increase the happiness. Education typically increases general knowledge about life, other people, promotes further development. According to Kruger-Dunning effect the higher your competences, the more reservations you have about your knowledge. This may contribute to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Also, the more you develop, the more own shortcomings you see. Being reflective helps to see things from a broader perspective. It is not without reason that people eagerly listen to optimists but tend to trust pessimists.
  • Apr 4 2014: I agree with Feyisayo Anjorin, happiness is largely related to attitude and often a result of personal desires, and the pursuit of.

    In regards to education: it is as many great thinkers have said before, focus on your interests & passions and you will gain a comprehensive and "high level" of education in such. I do not believe however that you need to complete a particular course of education. To put your efforts into what you enjoy and have drive for will naturally pay off as education and happiness.

    Education in itself should be taken as a diverse and generalised term in my opinion. It should not be constrained to academia but should cover a wide variety of skills and wisdom.

    A wise man may not know how to read or count, but a man with high intellect may not be wise at all.
  • Apr 3 2014: See,if it is education we are talking about,even higher levels will not guarantee a good job or high pay,likewise,you do not need high levels of education in order to succeed in life,so whether happiness depends on money or not,it still doesn't depend on education level.It is the amount of effort you are willing to put in that reap rewards.When we are happy we can earn more money,but when we earn more money we will not be happy for sure.
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    Apr 2 2014: Everyone can be happy if he wants to. Happiness is around us. It has nothing to do with education. Education brings success and self satisfaction. Happiness is diferent.
  • Apr 2 2014: I have seen very poor man with no education and shoes smiling. So no, we create our own happiness in mind. Happiness might be big apartment, good car, just little house, or food.
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    Apr 2 2014: education does in some aspects increase all emotions. I'm sure fear is a bigger one, people who don't understand the world around them are ignorant to the effects of bad politics in some far away country as to how that effects emotions here in the US. I'm just a H.S. graduate, my education level is well beyond that, I try too pay attention too the world around me. Am i happier then a post grad. Absolutely, i don't owe the feds a penny
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    Apr 2 2014: In an aspect, I agree. Educiation is basic of society. Without educiation, human society cant exist and develope. With a higher level of education, we will have more chances to have good jobs, we will have more money. Besides, society develope more. We will have more welfare regime for people in our society, eveybody will fell more happy.
    But In a aspect, I dont. Happiness is a voyage, not destination. It is because of feeling of each person. Sometimes, it is very simple: a smile at you, a hug, a high mark. When you have high level of education or rich, it isnt meaning that you are happy. I know many cases, husband and wife are poor farms but they are very happy, but in many families, husband and wife are doctors but they are unhappy.
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    Apr 2 2014: Depending on your lot in life a higher education can definitely add to a feeling of fulfillment and that can in turn make someone feel happier. However those who find themselves surrounded by individuals with little to no interest in discussing topics with substance and take no pleasure in, shall we call them, refined activities, it can be a burden and they may yearn for the feeling of ignorance associated with bliss.

    Once you know something you can't un-know it and the difficulty with higher education is that it opens your eyes to a lot of things and can leave certain people with a feeling of disparity. Some go down another road and feel empowered, ready to take on any and all obstacles. Again it just depends on who you are and in many cases what your position was before you pursued a higher education.
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    Apr 1 2014: A rare case where a collegian should really enjoy studying---as a reward for a rare achievement
    Teener Kwasi Enin Gets Into Every Single Ivy League School
    'A first-generation American from Shirley, N.Y., the 17-year-old violist and aspiring physician applied to all eight, from Brown to Yale.

    'The responses began rolling in over the past few months, and by late last week when he opened an e-mail from Harvard, he found he'd been accepted to every one. School district officials provided scanned copies of acceptance letters from all eight on Monday. Yale confirmed that it was holding a spot for Enin...'
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/31/ivy-league-admissions-college-university/7119531/
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    Apr 1 2014: No, because once you know better you can never go back to the blissful ignorance you once enjoyed.

    Just look at how the decades of more and more expose to just how corrupt the representative political system really is has corroded the ideals of democracy and a peoples voice.
  • Apr 1 2014: Education removes fear; the removal of fear begets happiness.
  • Apr 1 2014: Ah... seriously i dont think so... happiness has got to do with the personality of a person and you can never jump onto a general conclusion on what makes one happy...
  • Mar 31 2014: Happiness haven't nothing to do with education. You can get everything you want and don't be happy. Apart that happiness isn't a state , but a moment. In general , i think that rather than education, what is very important is how stimulating are the people around you. Curiosity and get objectives are better than happiness.
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    Mar 31 2014: Real education enables one to have greater number of choices of what one can do with his/her life. If you equate freedom with happiness, then yes it does create a greater possibility of being happy with life.
    On the other hand, real education also removes a lot of delusions that can otherwise make one happy so from that angle it can make you weary of life.
    Take your pick.
    • Apr 1 2014: What do you consider "real" education and is not all education real and beneficial depending on the application?
  • Mar 31 2014: Happiness comes from what you choose to do and not what someone else chooses for you.
  • Mar 31 2014: Your question brought to mind this Calvin Coolidge quote. It doesnt really speak to happiness but it seems to be related. Maybe having a purpose that drives you can lead to happiness, but to be honest there doesnt seem to be any single recipe for happiness, its up to each individual o find their own path.

    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
  • Mar 31 2014: It makes sense to me that education can lead to a higher quality of life, though that isnt universally true. But then what is universally true? This seems like it maybe an unanswerable question as every persons temperment is different. Ignorance may be bliss, but what you don't know can still hurt you.


    "A 2005 study of intelligence and emotional health conducted at the University of Edinburgh found no correlation between brains and happiness [source: Edelson]..... Rather than intelligence, the most salient factor contributing to self-reported happiness in the University of Edinburgh study was quality of life."

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/stupid-people-happier.htm
  • Mar 30 2014: I agree that happiness isn't related to a higher level of education - happiness is not necessarily related to any kind of education at all. I don't think it's possible to find any one particular path that will lead, eventually, to a "state of happiness" - I think that in order to be happy, you need to convince yourself that you are indeed happy.
    Because of this, I don't think you should worry about a higher level of education *decreasing* your happiness. You should do whatever seems right to you. Don't try to worry about whether or not the higher education will affect your happiness and how - go for it if it interests you (and I believe it does, otherwise we probably wouldn't be having this debate ;) ), and then see how it turns out.
    It's impossible to calculate the exact results and effects that doing something will have on your happiness - and attempting to do so could, in effect, paralyze you completely and stop you from doing anything, from trying anything, from living your life.
    It's true - gaining a higher level of education could expose you to many things that will seem overwhelming and threaten your happiness - but you will be exposed to things (most likely not the same, but things that could "hurt" your happiness nonetheless), no matter how you live your life. The education also brings with it many other positive aspects and possibilites.
    Ultimately, you should remember that the most important factor for happiness is you making the decision - I want to be happy. I am happy. Think it, and it will become true. Look positively at your surroundings. I don't mean ignore the negative aspects, pretending to be blind and ignorant. But look at them with a perspective that won't drown you in sorrow, but will enable you to make the right changes and adjustments in order to maintain the state of happiness.
    Do not imagine that you will ever reach a state in which you will be able to stay put and remain happy - the everlasting "pursuit" is what happiness is all about.
  • Mar 30 2014: Generally the answer of this question is considered to be no, but as I have experienced it is not that simple. At first when you inform yourself about the surrounding world, it may seem rather hostile and grim. Later on, as you continue your journey, you come to the realisation how many things you were missing and are not anymore, thus helping increase the levels of happiness. Overall i would suggest that indeed a higher level of education increases happiness, but then again it does not happen overnight, sometimes years might be needed.
  • Mar 30 2014: You speak of a standard educational experience. My opinion is that the answer is yes and no. Certainly, education is a good thing, but a standard university experience also closes the mind as it lasers into a career-oriented focus.

    those without a university degree have "traditionally" found happier lives, but that appears to be on the downswing.

    Those who are lifelong learners are happier. That life-long learning doesn't require one to pay for more than a computer (or equivalent) and an Internet subscription or a local library card. Self-education is far superior to any formal education I ever received.
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    Mar 30 2014: A high level of education is a double-edged sword. If you get compensation for your higher education, then it makes you happier. But the reality is that it makes more students depressed now---since they get no compensation for their achievement. Even those with PhDs accept labor jobs now just to make ends meet. Ergo, the higher the education, the 'harder we fall'.
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    Mar 28 2014: For me, happiness (the normal happiness that everyone talks and knows about) has been the major goal in life. This question however is looking for a different answer. Happiness and education should not even come in the same question. As a medical student, I'd see happiness as some chemical reactions in the brain and anything that triggers those chemicals, be it hormones or any other things (not important). So, what education does tend to do is make the world clearer. Even when we don't know things, it enables us to see why we don't know them. Like the answer to everything, like the history of universe, like why there could be no life after death and how we should accept those things. So, it's a tricky question and personally I think education doesn't necessarily make a person happy. It makes a person more aware. And ignorance could be bliss, sometimes. I have accepted death, i have accepted human flaws and I have accepted our limitations so I think more education tends to lift me even more, it could be different for different people. Also, I am a young person with no significant researches or whatsoever, just my personal thoughts on this question. Cheers !!!
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    Mar 27 2014: Tell me how much a child happiness and how much a old person happiness?
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    Mar 27 2014: Intriguing question. There are so many explanantion of what is happiness as there is people in the world. Does higher level of education increase happiness, it will depend of what you use that higher level of education to be the best doctor, lawer, teacher, politician, mom, dad, veterinarian, and I could go on. I do believe haigher education could help to be happy why not, to me buy a book that I want or I have been looking mades me happy. Happiness are moments of life when you feel full of joy because of that book or past an exam or you have helped someone because of your knwoledge. I do believe to have a higher level of education could help you to incresse happiness, to look your path and also is the best skill to help others becuase knoledge is to spread , need to be spread to ohters too. I am happy when my students undertand story and see the world from another point of view and could understand what it is happening now. I am happy as a lwayer when I help a client, and all that becuase of my education. I am happy to be able to speak english, italian and spanish. education is the base for a better society and also to be happy too.
  • Mar 27 2014: Let me discuss the problem in a different approach or by somewhat alternative definition of the word "education" and "happiness".
    First of all, 1000 years ago, there were no formal schools or any well-defined academic institutions. As far as I know, education was given or taken by either the parents and their children, or were exchanged between a well recognized scholar who was "educated" mostly by himself or another older scholar who was made one by similar circumstances. Then were there happy and unhappy people? Of course there were, and probably more happier ones, simply because there were less societal pressures laid onto them, to be educated, by the whole community.
    Therefore, IMO,happiness is probably derived from a person's recognition of the limitation of a single human life, and the notion of that happiness is really to be self-satisfied of what one already has, and it could also be derived from helping the others to relieve their misery/discomfort and makes them happier. This very notion could be taught or instilled by many "wise people" in ancient times, and doesn't need to be transferred from a formal teacher in a school setting. Of course, for some sage, one occasionally could realize it by himself without any teachers. So, the word "education" should really be interpreted as the notion of "no want (unselfishness, no greed or no envy, and compassion), no sorrow" This notion has been "taught" by religious institutions. numerous philosophers or Taoism, etc. throughout our history.
    In essence, I believe that certain education topics on morality do help, in some degree, but many technological or scientific studies are not quite relevant, but of course, these knowledge won't hurt one's happiness either.
  • Mar 27 2014: I don´t think a higher level of education can bring you happiness.It´s a matter of how you face life and accept your ups and downs. It´s to make the most of what you are, to exploit the chances ahead of you and see things positively,appreciating your achievements.
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    Mar 26 2014: I've seen and met poor and non educated people in Cambodia and Laos who seemed happy in their life, even if they had nothing. However, I didn't stay enough time to know how they really live in the long time and to really understand their life...
    Nevertheless, I was quite surprising because I didn't expect such happiness, so I started to think about happiness and its roots.
    To be brief, I concluded that happiness is not only a question of education of money, but reside in social stability. You are happy if you have a familly, friends, an occupation and enough food, money and time to live and share. Of course, education can increase and enhance social links, but, you can be very educated, if you live in a bad social environment, you will not be happy.
  • Mar 25 2014: Many factors go into the 'happiness' debate. A higher level of education is a very vague category for making someone happy as there are many other experiences that happen in any person's life. I think emotional intelligence would have a lot more to do with happiness rather than an associates or bachelors degree if that is what you are speaking of. I have met people with PhDs who had bothersome relationships and couldn't understand how to communicate with their significant other. Although learning in any way exercises the brain. So it would help with a person's scale of happiness. It is all very relative. I personally believe it helps to a great extent.
  • Mar 25 2014: it depends, The better understanding the world can take us to an overthinking . Think a lot about everything . Much more than it was necessary. It's true that the most inteligent people think to much and are more depressive than others. It's a fact.
    Have a low level of education, maybe, doesnt give to the people a lots of oportunities .
    It's complicated. For me, I prefeer a higher level of education but it's true that it cause more overthinking !
  • Mar 25 2014: happiness is not connected to money or higheir education . it is connected to your attitude and the way you observe the things
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    Mar 23 2014: If you find happiness in being intelligent then a higher level of education would indeed increase your happiness. Another reason why it would increase your happiness is because a lot of employers are looking for people who are highly educated to hire, so if a high income is your source of glee, then a higher level of education would make you happier. One way that intelligence will make you unhappy is when you find out that a lot of people are not intelligent. Another thing to consider is that a higher education takes a lot of time to acquire, and once acquired your high income career will consume a lot of time as well, so if you decide to become more educated make sure that you study an area that you are passionate about. because you do not want to do something that you hate in order to make money. It doesn't make you happy. There are a lot of things in this world to know about. Chose the ones that interest you the most, and you will be happy.
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    Mar 22 2014: So-called "higher" education usually involves a closer look at how our systems and institutions are structured as well as how they actually work. So no, in fact the opposite can easily occur and depression can become one's norm because once we know better it is impossible to go back to blissful ignorance we once enjoyed.

    Case In point, only a few decades ago politicians were once considered to, more or less, be those of high ideals and business owners were once revered as "successful" and "responsible" members of the community. Today's media presence has shown us that politicians of every stripe are vilified the world over and for good reason, while business owners have been found to be just as incompetent and irresponsible as anyone else/

    Over the last few decades those beliefs have been shattered and all those whose lives depend upon "good" governance and "honest" business dealings have taken it in the ear and lost their smiles.
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    Mar 21 2014: I will add my 2 cents. There is education and higher learning, the two are not always the same if same at all. Most of today's education is training for a career and not really education at all. Furthermore, much of the remaining so-called education is more like conditioning so people believe what they are suppose to believe.

    Today's education creates loyalty to today's popular belief and today's destruction. So I would say education is as much a reason for our overall turmoil as anything else. Today's education is what makes the beds we all have to lie in it.

    Higher learning, well that is a different story altogether. High learning is what improves and brings joy and happiness and as such it would absolutely increase happiness but it would be a fleeting happiness because higher learning is not popular and you would be by yourself and the loneliness of being one with wisdom would be almost suffocating.

    Education is what you can study that already exist, it's redundant. It allows for fantastic careers on occasion but as someone already said that doesn't make happiness.

    Go for higher learning if you want happiness and do not expect anyone to appreciate your wisdom because that will be a letdown.
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    Mar 21 2014: "Ignorant bliss" would suggest not. However, I consider having an enquiring mind is a great asset to happiness.
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    Mar 21 2014: I suggest education leads to more fulfilling and better paid jobs.

    suggest on average the people with less financial stress and less boring jobs would be happier.

    While happiness is more difficult to measure and compare than weight or height, we can ask tell when we are less or more happy. So it's not completely off limits to analysis.
  • Mar 18 2014: I believe that everything is based on an individuals viewpoint, and their own thought process. The most educated person could be unhappy and the least educated person could be the most happy and vice verse. So long as people don't look to proposed ideas of how happy a person should be based on how educated they are, or how rich they are, then they are in a position to make their own mind up.

    Happiness is a product of the mind, not a product of your environment or opportunities. This is why a starving person in the third world can still laugh, yet a person that has had it all in the western world needs to visit a psychiatrist once a week to find out where they mislaid their happiness.

    Money grows on trees, happiness grows on trees and health grows on trees. You just have to plant the seed for the tree to grow and root itself in your mind. Water the seed often by laughing often and holding only positive thoughts.
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    Mar 17 2014: Hi Tai Kapaji,

    To me depend of the person and who surround here. like I mention above depend of very things for example the choices the state of spirit and much more.
    To be happy to me first at all a person need to have self respect, think for here own head and make here choices.

    Best wish

    Thanks
  • Mar 16 2014: I hope everyone had a nice weekend, I have read all of your comments now and over the course of this discussion I have concluded (my personal opinion) that education is not necessary to be happy. This is all attitude, even if you are diseased, injured and in poverty it is possible to be fully happy.

    *However* having a formal education or even an informal education may make it easier by increasing the possibility of positive factors such as income, security, healthcare, sufficient food, etc. Factors that correlate to happiness. Thoughts?
  • Mar 16 2014: Depends on what you consider to be education. Not all education is attained in a classroom or comes with a degree.
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    Mar 15 2014: I believe happiness is more of a state of mind. As our TEDster Dan Gilbert points out we can synthesize happiness (whether well-educated or not). That being said, my personal happiness varies in certain situations. I know the more educated I become, the more flaws and problems I see at the workplace, at institutions, etc. which in turn is very depressing and it does alter my happiness. Perhaps if you're surrounded by well-educated people as well it will boost happiness. Maybe I'm a pessimist that knows too much as Mark Twain would say. Also think about small tribal communities who aren't as educated as other societal groups, their happiness seems to be a bit higher. Hard to say where to put education on the totem pole of factors that relate to happiness.
  • Mar 15 2014: Answer is yes. Because There r many factors . If u r really interstd in subjects of ur higher education then u will really like studying. Higher Education also gives u Good jobs . Good jobs gives good salaries. U can improve your standard of living. U can do part time job and part time study both. so it willl be really helpful to you
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    Mar 14 2014: higher education makes u feel frustrated more than giving you happiness that you have achieved somethng!!
    after becoming educated one feels that i am an achiever.. n its human tendency to see others as inferior when u achieve something.. life gets complicated!! u argue more because u want ur point to be approved!!

    education doesnt mean the same as it used to be..!! sad!!
  • Mar 12 2014: I believe it would depend on what you are studying, and the reason you are studying. If you are gaining a higher education studying something you are truly passionate about, then of course it will create happiness. Educating yourself on your passions and picking a topic that stimulates your intrinsic drivers will give a sense of purpose and fulfilment, which is essential to happiness. However, if you are studying something to simply have a good job or earn good money, then no, that would not create much happiness at all.
  • Mar 12 2014: No. I firmly believe happiness is a disposition, not a vocation. My older brother is intellectually challenged, yet he is undoubtedly wiser than myself when it comes to knowing what makes him happy.
  • Mar 11 2014: Again the very Word "Education" is very confusing.If you plainly mean formal education and degree's then I think NO. In fact the opposite may be true . I believe most of the time higher Education makes you too specific and creates a false sense of you knowing the world...I am myself an Electrical engineer
  • Mar 11 2014: Does a higher education increase happiness my answer is no.I am not proposing don't acquire higher education but if you claimed that higher education increase happiness that statement in nonsense
  • Mar 10 2014: Happiness is a very and perhaps, totally subjective feeling. I would doubt that such a feeling can be judged by a science project. Happiness is a sense of self that is being comfortable within the confines of one's skin, which is not associated with the number of degrees one may have acquired. Before science can judge happiness perhaps, it can define happiness. Let us begin that process with the definition of truth. When truth and happiness are defined then we can begin the process to make sure that every one is now happy by standards set by science and too, telling the truth.
    .
    The theist is happy when he is comforted by those of like mind and in the secure surroundings of a church. The Atheist is happy because he is not there. Both have degrees and both do not. What I have seen of higher education is that it is not.
    Justice is that which prevents one person from meddling into the affairs of another--Plato. It is best, I think, if we live our own lives to the best of our abilities and pursue those things that bring happiness. The next person does the same.
  • Mar 10 2014: Was there something wise in the old saying 'ignorance is bliss' ?
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    Mar 10 2014: For a person who wants to continuously learn ......ability of remaining continuously unhappy (curiosity the other name) rather takes them to next level of education.
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      Mar 10 2014: In elementary school I would have stared at you in disbelieve for this, your comment.

      '... wants to learn ...' What, or better, whom on earth is he talking about?

      Today I did stare at your comment, but a bit more in doubt than I would have been 40 years ago ...

      ;o)
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    Mar 10 2014: It depends.
    a higher level of education is not the only crieria designed to measure happiness,it depends on your attritude towards your life~~and don"t make this quesiton become you trouble~
    【Don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.】
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    Mar 10 2014: ""The circumstances of our lives may actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives.”
    Rory Sutherland
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      Mar 10 2014: In reference to Seligman, I don't think that changing from the word "happiness" to "flourishing" or "fulfillment" truly changes the thrust of Seligman's idea very much. I think people mean many things by happiness, including very short term and longer term feelings. I understood his switching to "flourishing" to embrace something deeper than what some people think of as happiness.

      I will read your links to see whether I find the challenges in them compelling. Done. This article is about an error in some math a particular author included in a paper, math from of all fields fluid dynamics, which turned out not to be a useful or accurate contribution to the theory or empirical foundations of positive psychology.

      What is called into question is that part of that psychologist's paper. That does not in my mind discredit the whole body of work in that field, though I would have some pause in accepting that author's standards of scholarship.. This could be like throwing out an area of physics and everyone's work in it because one researcher made a calculation error in some aspect that is not at all foundational for the field.

      She believes there is some sort of measurable tipping point that she has thus far failed to measure but may in principle be measurable. Even if she is wrong on that single claim, I don't think it casts a shadow on the central part of the Seligman approach or results, or, for example, his work.
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        Mar 11 2014: I respect your views so we can disagree on this, but I just do not find the humans or any other animal is designed for sustained happiness.
        Fredrickson's research was about the "happiness ratio." Read the paper and she is addressing the same things Seligman is via Complexity. (complex adaptive systems). But there is a lot of other blow back on "positivity," positive psychology, etc.
        http://www.unc.edu/peplab/publications/Fredrickson%20&%20Losada%202005.pdf

        You might be interested in looking at the evolving cultures of chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest evolutionary relatives. Chimpanzees evolved into a male dominated and violent social structure due in part to their competition for food. Bonobos did not have this competitive environment and the result is a female oriented structure with more sharing and more sexual activity. Does this equate to sustained happiness? We're not bonobos, we are more like chimps, and we have a ways to evolve out of our violence tendencies.
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          Mar 11 2014: My main carry-away from Seligman is that psychology as a field can study ways that tend to work for people to improve their quality of life- that people who are not ill can take actions to improve their well-being. There is not some sort of set point for how good any particular individual can feel that is independent of actions he takes or habit he adopts.

          For any prescriptive program, one would need to be vigilant in considering the applicability in particular cases of strategies that may work on average.

          Some people believe that scholars in the social sciences sometimes formulate their impressions on the basis of their immediate milieu of college undergraduates- that college undergrads are not sufficiently typical to provide a basis for robust conclusions.

          But I have not heard claim that Seligman's population samples have that bias.
  • Mar 9 2014: It looks like we are all in agreement on this topic.
  • Mar 9 2014: Happiness doesn't have any co-relation to levels of education as its purely personal.
    • Mar 10 2014: Science disagrees with you:
      Murrell SA, Salsman NL. Meeks S. 2003. Educational attainment, positive psychological mediators, and resources for health and vitality in older adults. J Aging Health. 15:591-615.

      Kubzansky LD1, Berkman LF, Glass TA, Seeman TE. 1998. Is educational attainment associated with shared determinants of health in the elderly? Findings from the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Psychosom Med. 60:578-85.
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    Mar 9 2014: of course not. that kind of education has nothing to do with happiness.

    it may ease a person's mind if their goal in life is to use that education to get a job they enjoy, but it's no path to self knowledge or the emotion itself.
    • Mar 10 2014: Science disagrees with you:
      Murrell SA, Salsman NL. Meeks S. 2003. Educational attainment, positive psychological mediators, and resources for health and vitality in older adults. J Aging Health. 15:591-615.

      Kubzansky LD1, Berkman LF, Glass TA, Seeman TE. 1998. Is educational attainment associated with shared determinants of health in the elderly? Findings from the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Psychosom Med. 60:578-85.
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        Mar 10 2014: i'm not sure that referencing 15 year old text books counts as relevant evidence but I can tell you that copying and pasting the same post multiple times doesn't make your point any more salient.

        but keep referencing old text-books. i'm sure that helps you have more confidence in your own opinions. it may even help you feel a little superior. just be aware that it makes a person come across as about as appealing as the unsolicited door-knockers pushing religious magazines as evidence of their god.
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    Mar 8 2014: I imagine the person asking the question and those responding seem to relate education to one of those typical institutions with books and blackboards. Surely that's not true? Education is simply knowledge that you need, i.e. relevant to your life.
    For those who live in scantily populated environments, forests, deserts, mountains, the daily challenges and pleasures provided by Mother Nature should be enough to offer a lively education. Good health and the absence of crowded, aggressively competitive communities, I think should also be enough to guarantee happiness.
  • Mar 8 2014: Yes & No.

    For some a higher education brings more wealth and status in the community.

    Nowadays a degree does not automatically give one a steady job for life. Many employers want extra study (while working) i.e Masters degree with its bucket load of stress.

    My brother (brilliant as) got Bachelor and Masters easily but could not easily find work in that area of his studies all the time. Started studying washing machine mechanics got plenty of work (albeit less $'s than a job with 2 degrees) and was quite happy doing that, worked the hours he wanted, not travel in peak traffic too often, take a day or 2 off to go fishing etc.

    I'd say a degree (or two) is a good idea if you have the brains and the money to get it. Otherwise do not stress and keep mind open to other options - go for quality of life and happiness.
  • Mar 8 2014: Higher level of education improve the living of standrad
    However happiness is not related with level of education
    For example in Korea(My country) there is an increment in number of people dying by committing suicide
    I dont know how you judge the level of education but it is clear that people in my nation know lots of things than before
    Here I see people who are saying that happiness is depend on attitude and how you think
    I agree with these ideas

    Higher level of education... it is not about content but quality
    People need an education which can help to improve their attitude
    That is something we need
    • Mar 10 2014: Science disagrees:
      Murrell SA, Salsman NL. Meeks S. 2003. Educational attainment, positive psychological mediators, and resources for health and vitality in older adults. J Aging Health. 15:591-615.

      Kubzansky LD1, Berkman LF, Glass TA, Seeman TE. 1998. Is educational attainment associated with shared determinants of health in the elderly? Findings from the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Psychosom Med. 60:578-85.
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    Mar 8 2014: It depends upon the thinking and attitude.
    For example i have completed my degree and want to do job but i am not getting it and going for higher education then here education is my need and my happiness depends upon my career.
    But If i have completed my degree and got the job but i am passionate about study and go for the higher education then it will give me the happiness whether i got the job or not.
  • Mar 8 2014: I agree with the comment that personal relationships are the factor that most influences happiness and satisfaction with life, education is an unrelated variable.
  • Mar 8 2014: well its not a always the case. the knowledge gained, is influenced in many ways. if it was the case, then why would a granny who probably had no formal education be happier than the big shot banker...well i guess its more of an attitude thing....you can advance as high as you can in your academic adventure but if you dont work on your attitude(such as appreciating what you have while pursuing what you want)..its likely u would never be happy..probably this might become true one day if they introduce a new course on 'how to get happy' in classes :)
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    Mar 8 2014: Here is another paper on this subject: http://www.oecd.org/site/worldforum06/38303200.pdf

    Why do you think that gaining knowledge and understanding would be inversely related to developing relationships?
    • Mar 8 2014: I appreciate the paper, I have skimmed it as a download and am aware that my question may be too broad for the responses I desire. I will read it in full next time I am at a computer and perhaps post a more specific question.
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        Mar 8 2014: I don't think your question is too broad to be interesting. Some people have mentioned that more education is correlated with the prospect of getting interesting work and a higher income than a person could expect without a college education. Being involved in interesting work and interesting thoughts is, according to TED speaker Martin Seligman's research, related to happiness. Little opportunity for interesting work and financial worries, on the other hand, are stressful, interfere with happiness directly and tend to interfere with personal relationships and stable families. (You can find papers on this if you like by searching Google Scholar).

        One logical trap to watch out for is the trap of thinking efforts in different areas necessarily work at cross purposes. If you look at a college student pursuing his degree with peers in the same school or dorm, there typically are natural opportunities for comraderie and finding other students on campus who share interests and whose company one might enjoy. The college experience does not, I think, worsen people's interpersonal communication skills. If instead you graduated from high school and got a job that might be available to a recently graduated 18 year old, I don't know that you would be investing more attention in your relationships than would your classmate pursuing the college adventure with same age peers. Students in college often find it easier to meet people than they do once they are no longer in school.

        Again according to Seligman's research, the quality of ones personal relationship is the single factor most closely correlated with happiness.

        Aside from opportunities for interpersonal connection, I don't think there is a sound theoretical model and an unaware of any empirical evidence that cultivating your critical thinking would impair your ability to lead a rich emotional life.
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    Mar 7 2014: A college degree or higher may open a lot of doors. In some cases it may also lead to a good career which will lead to a fat salary and perks that may produce some degree of "happiness".

    These days for most people, a good education comes at a high cost, i.e. a four-year degree for $ 200,000.00 or a medical or law degree for $400,000.00. Now imagine a 30 year-old doctor or lawyer paying almost half-a-million-dollar college loan at 7% interest rate.

    Is it any wonder why our healthcare, education, finance and banking, and government systems are in the shape that they are today? Who do you think are responsible?

    When these white collar "professionals" from both private and government sectors "collaborate", what do you think will happen?
  • Mar 7 2014: Amusing--lots of blablablablablablablablalbalbalba, but I'm the only one who actually posted any reference to real-world research on the subject.
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      Mar 10 2014: Re: Okay, cite the counter-evidence. Show me that research to the contrary.

      You know all to well it doesn't work like that. You need to support your claims, posted several times. if you are going to post a reference regarding what science agrees or disagrees with.
      • Mar 10 2014: I posted the references. The papers can be looked up. My claim is supported. I am not going to spoon feed you the papers. If you are too lazy to do the basic legwork, you're not worth the effort.
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          Mar 10 2014: Such anger......geez.
          You can be a difficult individual to converse with. If one was to rely on your assertions one might assume you are not a happy individual, and therefore less educated, and that would be irrational.

          My response is directed to the conversation, so others will see that I am doing my due diligence here.
          The question under consideration is, "Does a higher level of education increase happiness?
          What is being asked about is causation: does higher education cause an increase in happiness?

          As previously stated, I did look up the second reference, and it says,

          ""Low levels of education were associated with poorer psychological function (less mastery, efficacy, happiness), less optimal health behaviors (increased tobacco consumption and decreased levels of physical activity), poorer biological conditions (decreased pulmonary function, increased body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio), and larger social networks (increased number of contacts, decreased negative support). Several factors (alcohol consumption, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) were nonlinearly related to educational attainment."

          Clearly, "associated with" are the words that stand out. This is not causation. Being overweight is a contributing factor to unhappiness in this study as well. So there is no conclusive evidence regarding education.

          Anyone who has seen the Daniel Kahneman TEDTalk will know that income plays a role in happiness. An income in many cases buys one a better education

          http://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489.full

          Final, does anyone else think supplying s link to a reference is "spoon feeding?"
  • Mar 7 2014: To understand the world better you have to read,talk,listen and interact with world. The word education has been derived from the word educate which is further been derived from the word educe, which means develop from within.College education provides only professional and technical education.

    To develop from within so that you can understand the world better, you have to acquire non-technical education.


    As far as happiness is concerned, it does not depends on just one factor , it depends on the missing factor. And everyone has just something missing in their life and when that missing part comes in their life they feel happy. But, that does not means that the person is happy due to the acquisition of the missing part.But, the person is happy because all the things which make a person happy are working together as a team.

    If education is missing your life then , when you acquire education you will feel happy.If employment is missing in your life then getting employed will make you happy. But, that does not means that only education or only getting employed will make anyone happy.
  • Mar 7 2014: Happiness mostly depend on your attitude.Thousands of people acquired higher education but all are not happy.Education increase your knowledge but how you use that knowledge for creative purpose that increase your happiness.We to use knowledge for active purpose.I firmly believe only creativity increase our happiness
    • Mar 7 2014: I agree with this, it is a very good point!

      But do you think specific education can distract people from inner happiness by promoting unrelated areas such as academic knowledge, and prestige rather than relationships and health. Also, maybe education outweighs in benefits due to the satisfaction of accomplishments as well as providing better access to healthcare, better food, money and security.
      • Mar 8 2014: Every man is unique and came in to world with pacific destiny we have no freewill.We dance on our unconscious mind through out our life,. know your destiny and love it,that is ultimate aim of our life.After all to know your destiny you to search ,no one help you.My experiences tell me that destiny wholeheartedly inserted in our psyche and it lead us to our aim.One sign to recognize our destiny is in which subject we very very deeply marge enjoy get self -satisfaction is our destiny you must devote entire your life on that subject than only you experiences pure joy and self satisfaction..I think pure joy and self-satisfaction is highest achievement of our life
      • Mar 10 2014: Academic knowledge is a form of meditation.
    • Mar 10 2014: Claiming that proves no connection between education is like saying that lots of people smoke tobacco but don't get lung cancer, thus tobacco has no connection to cancer; or that lots of people are exposed to bacteria but don't get infected, thus bacteria has no connection to infection. A trend can be valid, even strong, and still not apply in 100% of all possible cases.
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    Mar 7 2014: Not necessarily,sometimes it can be the other way around.

    I don't know if you found it,that more highly educated people are committed suicide than those who have relatively lower education. Education brings individuals knowledge and strength, but it enables people to think to much,to wage on the issues can not be solved through thinking.

    On the other hand,the more education have receive, the higher goals you aspire. Generally,it takes more to satisfy a doctor than a farmer. For instance, in the primitive history,human's whole living was pretty much feeding their belly,they wouldn't be puzzled in how to tackle religious conflicts, democracy,airspace,etc.
  • Mar 7 2014: Higher level of education, in my opinion, does not always increase happiness. It depends on the individual and his personality as to what makes him happy. One can be a school drop-out and work in a restaurant as a waiter and still be happy while sometimes people achieve their life-long happiness when they get a doctorate degree. So, it is based on your personality whether further education will make you happier or not.
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    Mar 7 2014:
    Yes! It does
    because there are more chances to know invalid happiness.
    • Mar 14 2014: The more we, the human race, are educated the more AWARE we become of the global false -economy/invalid happiness.
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    Mar 7 2014: There are studies that suggest as much yes. But not really in a direct relation. There are usually a few factors in between. In my instance for example, I could say I am happier in learning but no one I know personally shares the same passion, so I'm sad about that...
  • Mar 7 2014: Although people with more knowledge are generally happier, higher levels of education do not always teach the kind of knowledge that fulfills you emotionally; If you aren't satisfied emotionally, it would be very difficult to find personal happiness. I've found that the most happy people are the ones who learn from life lessons that can't always be experienced in a classroom. According to Maslow's pyramid of human needs, to get to the point of self-actualization and therefore happiness, you must have everything from relationships with family and friends to being creative and solving problems. A higher education can provide you with many things and give you more opportunities such as careers, there are also things necessary to humans outside of school. However, everyone is different, so it could be possible that someone might be content with relying on a higher education to determine their future happiness. Certainly having the accomplishment of going to college would give you gratification at least temporarily.
  • Mar 6 2014: Prehaps any sense of accomplishment relative to others provides psychological benefits, one has always been rewarded for being a "good hunter" (ie a successful individual of a society) but there is also the presure to peform as expected.
    In the particular case of education, your reality is forged by your mind, and anything that will enhance it will enhance your experience of reality, so yes, you maybe more happy more easiely with some higher education, maybe it will make you more creative, you will see new possibilities, you may also see sad things where others do not.