The secret to happiness has been laid out in a neat scientific mathematical formula.
After years of trying to define joy and its necessity in lives, researchers have been able to condense happiness in an empirical formula. People have always experienced the “well-being,” but never been able to define it in a way that is scientifically explainable, till now. Using this formula people will not just have a clear idea about the “joy and well-being of happiness,” but it will also help them get a bit more of it in their lives, exclaimed the researchers.
What does the formula for happiness contain? Researchers have always been aware that happiness is infectious. Moreover, we’re all more likely to be happier if we have a joyful companion or friend nearby.
Money matters as well. But, after earning enough to “live well,” more money doesn’t make much difference, and hence is a factor that only “partially affects our happiness.” Interestingly, it has been proven that “money spent on doing” is far better at giving satisfaction than by buying things. Research has indicated that real-life experiences like sky-diving or SCUBA diving brings a lot more happiness than an exhaustive shopping spree.
To come up with the formula, the researchers utilized the world happiness rankings that are based on a range of metrics including life expectancy, social support, freedom to make choices, and generosity of the general population.
Using the data from a major study conducted recently, researchers determined that happiness depends on whether things are better or worse than expected.
Looking at the relationship between rewards and happiness, Robb Rutledge and colleagues of the Max Planck University College London Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, designed a unique study, shared the Professor.
“Based on the data, we developed a mathematical equation to predict how self-reported happiness depends on past events. We found that happiness depends not on how well things are going, but whether things are going better or worse than expected.”
The formula that the team designed for happiness is:
In short, the formula can be summarized.
“Happiness depends on safe choices (certain rewards, CR), expectations associated with risky choices (expected value, EV), and whether the outcomes of risky choices were better or worse than expected. This final variable is called a reward prediction error (RPE), the difference between the experienced outcome and the expectation.”
Essentially, the study appears to be relying on the expectations and reality, continued Rutledge.
“If you manage to get a last-minute reservation at a popular new restaurant, your happiness might increase even more. If the meal is good, but not quite as good as expected, your happiness should actually decrease.”
[Image Credit | Real Success]