Richard Layard stated “Happiness comes from outside and within “. Explain this statement, drawing from evidence from chapters 3 and 5 of the course.
What is happiness? – The Encarta Dictionary – describes happiness as “feeling or showing pleasure, contentment or joy “.
In speaking of “from outside” Layard is referring peoples social identities, roles, group membership and the culture they live in. Whilst, in speaking of “within” Layard is referring to the brain/ biology, peoples thinking and feelings.
This essay will attempt to explain some of these influences on happiness and ask whether its nature (biology/genes) or nurture (culture, relationships, past experiences) which has the greatest effect on levels of …show more content…
In his book Richard Layard (2005) Spears et al – attempts to identify what makes us happy – he identifies the “Big Seven” – family relationships, financial situation, work, community and friends, health, personal freedom, and personal values. The number one in his list is family and close relationships.
In of support this statement - Robert Lane (2000, p6) Spears et al – concludes that once people rise above poverty level they their happiness tends to be determined by the quality of their family and friendships. Levels of acceptance or rejection through close relationships can have a profound impact of feelings of wellbeing and mood. Interaction and familiarity in a social scene often leads to amusement and laughter – this intimate interaction can have a positive influence happiness levels.
Peoples work roles can be a source of happiness where it gives a sense of achievement and meaning and a demoralizing source of unhappiness where there’s no sense of achievement. However, unemployment can be equally harmful to happiness by destroying personal self esteem and the positive social relationships created by the workplace.
Depending on how you measure happiness – researchers disagree on whether people are happiest in economically advanced societies or in economically developing societies. Alan Carr (2004) Spears et al - argues that the economically advanced