What Makes Me Happy?

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It turns out there are more answers to this simple question than you may think. Last term, students in one of our interdisciplinary Quest projects approached this question from a variety of perspectives and landed on some solid ground. Beginning with Aristotle and Buddha, they looked at how philosophies of happiness have changed over time, influencing popular culture in often invisible ways. Then, using some of the articles and resources from UC Berkeley's online course, "The Science of Happiness," they investigated recent research in positive psychology centered on gratitude, compassion, and the power of prosocial behavior. The last step was for students to design their own experiments to test some of the hypotheses they generated in response to what they learned.

Throughout this seven-week Quest, small working groups created their own websites on the platform Weebly. Here they compiled their answers to the Quest question, wrote essays on the differences between pleasure and meaning (or hedonia and eudaimonia, as some would have it), examined the neuroscience of happiness, and reported on the results of their experiments.

We are proud to share a selection of these websites, in the hopes that all of us might come closer to living happy lives, and knowing what really makes us happy. 

Happy reading!

Pure, Authentic Happiness, by Summer

Discovering Happiness, by Galicia, Aidan, Summer, and Aaron