Are people happier in California?
Almost everywhere I’ve visited, I’ve encountered the belief that people are happier in California. When pressed as to why, the most common explanation is weather. Since studies have shown that sunlight positively influences mood, perhaps everyone should move to CA – it might make the world a happier place.
Practicality aside, it turns out moving to California probably won’t make someone happier. The problem lies in the word itself. According to Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, there are two different ways of looking at well-being: current mood and overall satisfaction.
Mood and satisfaction can even be contradictory. An event or an object can improve your mood but not increase the satisfaction with your life. For example, buying a new car might lift your spirits for a few weeks but be dampened when the reality of paying the monthly bills sets in.
This is a specific example of what…
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