Home » The Science Behind Authentic Happiness: Understanding the “Authentic Happiness Inventory” and its Impact on Well-being

The Science Behind Authentic Happiness: Understanding the “Authentic Happiness Inventory” and its Impact on Well-being

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The Science Behind Authentic Happiness: Understanding the “Authentic Happiness Inventory” and its Impact on Well-being

The Science of Happiness

Happiness is one of people’s most precious aspirations and it is present in our lives in different ways. It is a subjective and positive feeling that led science to study it in depth.

Faced with the need to provide an answer to the question of whether it is possible to measure the happiness of each individual, scientists have developed tools over the years to discover it. For this, it was necessary to understand it from a scientific perspective and create a method that manages to mediate this emotional state, which they called the “Authentic Happiness Inventory.”

In order to discover the path to a satisfying life and subjective well-being, scientist Martin Seligman designed a test to evaluate the change in happiness and subjective well-being. Seligman is considered the “father of positive psychology” and, through this examination, proposed that happiness could be analyzed into three types of elements: positive emotion, commitment, and meaning. However, soon after, he decided to expand his theory of well-being after positive psychology interventions with his colleague Chris Peterson. The changes introduced two additional elements: achievement and positive relationships.

The happiness test is available on the Authentic Happiness website of the University of Pennsylvania, United States, and works as a multiple-choice test. The test is not designed to accumulate points but it provides information for comparison between other individuals.

For this group of experts, the test had to mutate to a PERMA model, which covers the 5 points mentioned. It yielded surprising results that are close to what was suspected. Satisfied people show greater satisfaction with life through meaning, pleasure, and commitment. The need to grow as a person was an evolutionary transmission. Psychologists, who created self-assessment questionnaires, can get an idea of the level of subjective well-being to identify changes over time.

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This study created by Seligman and Peterson helped us understand that many people believe that happiness is out of reach because there are things that cannot be avoided. This is supported by the aforementioned results: people seek to establish deep relationships and focus on positive emotions to increase happiness in the short term.

All of this results in happy people being more prepared to face life’s challenges, adopting healthy lifestyles in many cases. Authentic happiness benefits people’s mental health and satisfaction with their lives, rating their level of subjective well-being depending on this series of parameters determined by experts.

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