Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Research Blog #15: Abstract and Bibliography


With a growing field of the study on happiness, mostly out of economics, sociology, and psychology, there is plenty of research on the science of happiness. This shows us that people generally believe that meaning and happiness are essential elements of the good life, whereas money is relatively unimportant. With this in mind, you may ask yourself the question of who is happier in the end: students who work hard at their academics throughout college or the students who “have fun” in college and focus more on college life? Some people feel that a person’s successfulness depends on their college experience and how you need to have a good major that will eventually lead to a high paying career. But does money necessarily buy happiness? According to the science of happiness, people do not judge their happiness on material things alone, so income is not a direct measure of happiness. My paper continues to show and defend the reasons behind why money does not measure happiness. There is much more to life. Find something you love and want to do with your life and be happy while you are doing it.


Beck, Kristen Brooke. “Happiness Is The Meaning of Life.” Kristen’s Guide. 18 June 2009. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .

Gauntlett, David. “Extract from Chapter 3: ‘The power of connecting.’” Making is connecting. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .

Gilbert, Daniel. Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.

Holland, Dorothy C., and Eisenhart, Margaret A. Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and College Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990. Print.

King, Laura A. and Napa, Christie K. “What Makes a Life Good?” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 75.1 (1998): 156-165. Print.

Klein, Stefan. The Science of Happiness: How our Brains make us Happy--and what we can do to get Happier. New York: Marlowe, 2006. Print.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. “Everybody Have Fun.” The New Yorker. Condé Nast Digital, 22 March 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

Moffatt, Michael. "College Life: Undergraduate Culture and Higher Education." The Journal of Higher Education 62.1 (1991): 44-61. Print.

Roth, Bob. “To find success after college, excel in these three areas.” The Georgetonian Online. Blog at wordpress.com. 26 Sept. 2007. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .

Senior, Jennifer. “Some Dark Thoughts on Happiness.” New York. New York Media LLC, 9 July 2006. Web. 24 March 2010. .

Shellenbarger, Sue. “Weighing the Value of That College Diploma.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc., 16 Dec. 2009. Web.25 Feb. 2010. .

Swift, Kent. “Financial Success and the Good Life: What have we Learned from Empirical Studies in Psychology?”Journal of Business Ethics 75.2 (2007): 190-199. Print.

Swinton, Lyndsay. “How to Increase Your Work and Life Satisfaction: Put Abraham Maslow Theory into Practice.” Management for the Rest of Us. mftrou.com, 18 Sept. 2006. Web. 7 April 2010. .

Xiao, Jing Jian, Chuanyi Tang, and Soyeon Shim. “Acting for Happiness: Financial Behavior and Life Satisfaction of College Students.” Social Indicators Research 92.1 (2009): 53-68. Print.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Research Blog #14: My Story

Over the course of the semester my project has evolved a lot. At first, I knew I wanted to do something that had to do with comparing student life to academic life in a college environment. The main reason for this is that I, myself have been struggling to find a good balance between the two. Although I picked that for my topic, it was very vague and I was unsure of how to relate these two lifestyles enough for a whole research paper. Then, my professor suggested I use "happiness" as my topic and relate college to happiness. In the beginning I didn't really think much of it and didn't think I really wanted to go in that direction with my paper, but then I started to research that topic a little bit. Some of the information I found was actually really interesting and that's when I realized that this is what I wanted to base my project on. My main trouble with writing this paper, however, was actually sitting down and focusing on doing my work. There were so many other distractions all the time that made it very hard for me to get things done on time. It even got to the point a few times where I actually did my paper after I thought I might actually fail the course if I didn't keep up. Anyway, with my research topic, there is a debate that essentially money either can buy happiness, or that it can't. Some economists feel that it is more important for students to go to college and focus solely on their academics so that they can later get a good high paying job with a set career, and that will make them happy. But others feel that students should be able to have fun in college and do what they want because "friendship and love is ultimately what trumps money and status" and there is more to life than money. After completing all of my research, I came to the conclusion that it is better for students to "have fun" in college and do what they want. Academics are important, but as long as the student knows what it is that they want to do with their life, they can create a nice balance for themselves between their academic and social lives. This would also decrease a lot of stress on students and make them happier in the end. There’s no point in going through life if you hate what you do, so live your life to the fullest and have fun in doing so.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Research Blog #13: Visual Aids

These images are taken from an old Time magazine in 2005. They show how money doesn’t play a big role in measuring how happy people generally are. The first image depicts how people who range from having a very large income to a very low income are both pretty much the same in how happy they are in life overall. It says that based on their own assessment, Americans are overwhelmingly happy and optimistic people, regardless of income. The second image shows what it is that actually makes us happy. Most people find happiness through family connections and friendships.

Research Blog #12: Outline

Explain the main relationship between college success and happiness
- propose the questions: who is happier in the end: students who work hard at their academics throughout college or the students who “have fun” in college and focus more on college life? and does money essentially buy happiness?
- what is it exactly that makes people happy? friendship and love is ultimately what trumps money and status (Klein)
Why must life be determined by the outcome of college, when successfulness does not always deliver happiness?
- important topic because for students who are unsure of what to do or major in, it can help them make a decision with what is more important to them: being happy or having a lot of money
Establish the fact that happiness cannot be determined by a certain level of material comfort like money and how instead, it stems from having meaningful connections with other people and meaningful things to do
- Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of basic needs: these needs are being met so not much more income is needed in order for you to be happy
- when you focus on things like financial success, status, or attractiveness it will take away from your own well-being and happiness (Swift)
- for you to be happy, you should live a balanced life
The pursuit of financial success can also add to happiness as long as it is for the right reasons
- do something that makes you happy in life because money isn't everything (Swift)
- the "good life": the ideal life to live
- multiple things can contribute to the good life making you happy in the end (King/Napa)
Discuss why too much focus on the goal of financial success is likely to lead to lowered happiness
- Xiao/Tang/Shim
- by focusing solely on your academics and financial status you miss out on so many other things that living away at college can teach you (Moffatt)
- getting good grades can make you happy but not lead to overall life satisfaction
Explain how a lot of students only do enough schoolwork just so that they can get by
- some students need to switch to simpler majors so they have time to have fun in college and don't just spend all of their time studying
- Holland/Eisenhart
Gender determines people’s roles in society and also in shapes the work of colleges and universities
- "pathways to marginal careers" (Holland/Eisenhart)
- women are making conscious choices based on ideas about their future happiness
- most women seem to be falling into a reliance on men and marriage for economic support

Monday, March 22, 2010

Research Blog #11: The Case

The case for my project is the argument of whether or not money equals happiness because from research i have found, the researchers seem to define happiness as money. Some, like the Kent Swift that i mentioned in my last post, feel that money cannot buy happiness and that it is more of what you do in life and who you do things with throughout your life that makes you happy. They believe that there is much more to life and what makes a person happy other than just some large amount of money. On the other hand, other researchers think that if you don't focus on your academics in college that you will not be happy. The reason for this is that if you don't do well in school then you won't get a good, well paying job in the future where you can make lots of money and in the end that will make you happy. If this were the case for the way you want to live your life, that then it would actually be more self-actualizing for you to study all the time and focusing on your schoolwork. Some ways of socialization may even be against a person's well being, and with this it is more important to them to pay less attention to the college life. From information I have found, there is a lot of research supporting both sides of the argument, ultimately creating one case for my paper.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Research Blog #10: The Debate

The debate I have found with my topic is essentially the question of who is happier in the end: students who work hard at their academics throughout college or the students who have fun in college and focus more on college life. From my research, I have found writers who help to identify with both sides of the debate. Kent Swift, in an article of his, explains how "Folk wisdom proposes that money cannot buy happiness and, thus, suggests that a focus on material success is not the basis for a good life. Rather, a life well-lived would include a focus on such elements as happiness, a sense of purpose, wisdom, creativity, a philosophy of life, achievement, and the experience of love" He says that money isn't everything. Happiness cannot be determined by a certain level of material comfort, like money. But instead, it stems from having meaningful connections with others, and meaningful things to do. Other writers however, in an article titled "Acting for Happiness: Financial Behavior and Life Satisfaction of College Students, the authors tell us how too much focus on money and financial success is likely to lead to lowered happiness because it reduces the time and energy available to pursue more meaningful goals, but that with a good job and good education you will generally be happier with the success you have in life. That in turn leads to overall life satisfaction. There are the two sides of this argument in that money either represents happiness or it doesn't and these writers both defend opposite sides of that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Research Blog #9: Questions

So far I feel like my paper is going pretty well. I'm not really having any trouble finding sources, although I haven't looked for my primary source yet. My research proposal basically summed up all of my main ideas I want to talk about in my paper except for maybe like you said with the book "Educated in Romance" and how it is a gendered thing that women are more pressured into doing poorly in college because of their attractiveness to men and along with some other factors. I also think I'm still a little confused as to what you mean by "identifying key terms" too.