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Study Finds Exactly What Makes Humans Happy

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Originally aired on April 14, 2008.

Tom Fudge: We human beings are complex creatures. We are contentious, sometimes violent; we can be greedy or power hungry. We can also be kind and giving. But if you had to mention one thing that human beings want out of life, it is to be happy. Who could possibly argue with that?

The problem is, we are surprisingly inept at knowing what will make us happy. Part of our confusion is, no doubt, the result of this highly commercial, consumer-oriented world we live in. When every person selling products is trying to convince you that buying their product is the key to happiness, it's easy to get confused.

That's where David Schkade comes in. David is an economist at UC San Diego. He and a handful of scholars across the country are involved in new research that seeks to determine what makes people happy. It's a high-powered group, by the way. One of David's collaborators is Princeton economist Daniel Kahneman , winner of the Nobel Prize.

 

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