Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Erik M. Gregory
Attaining well-being or happiness is an age-old pursuit, with scientific discourse dating back to the Greek era. The growth of research on well-being in the past 20 years has revealed that despite individuals in the United States being twice as wealthy as they were 40 years ago, they are 10 times more depressed. Material acquisition may not be the road to happiness, as is widely believed. Researchers in the field of positive psychology, a discipline that seeks to understand that which is healthy in human behavior, have used investigative methods that, for example, provide insight into people's daily lived experiences. This has generated a great deal of information about their daily actions, thoughts, and feelings. Researchers are rediscovering what Benjamin Franklin knew many years ago: “Happiness is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day.” Of course, ...