Is it possible to predict who is going to be happy and who isn’t? Perhaps it’s not too far-fetched. In a recent analysis, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman said there are two traits that could predict happiness.
Beyond a fleeting smile or a laugh, well-being is about that deeper feeling of contentment, and is a particular area of research that is being studied by positive psychologists. Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that explores the positive areas of human development, including happiness, flow, and optimism. There are a total of 24 character traits that a person can exhibit under 6 broad virtues in this branch’s classification handbook.
Kaufman is the Scientific Director of the Science of Imagination Project at Positive Psychology Center. According to a recent Huffington Post article, of the 24 traits that he analyzed, he discovered two that were significant predictors of well-being. He details his analysis in a Scientific American article.
The two traits he found as the best predictors of well-being:
1. Gratitude. One of the biggest indicators. This has been shown in many studies to increase happiness and well-being.
2. Love of Learning. In this case, it means mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, either formally or on one’s own. Lifelong learners fall in this category.
Want to increase your chances of happiness? In addition to being thankful, consider exploring new hobbies, developing a new skill, or participating in mentally engaging and stimulating activities.