100 Things You Should Know About People: #72 — Trust Is The Best Predictor Of Happiness

 

Book Cover of The Geography of BlissIf you want to know who is happiest, then figure out who feels the most trust.Which country has the happiest people? – Eric Weiner traveled all over the world in search of answers to the questions: Which countries have the happiest people and why? His answers surprised him and they surprised me too. Based on research, Iceland comes out towards the top of the pile, and Saudi Arabia towards the bottom.

Happiness factors — Here is some of what he discovered and writes about:

Extroverts are happier than introverts.

Optimists are happier than pessimists.

Married people are happier than singles, but people with children are the same as childless couples.

Republicans are happier than democrats.

People who go to church are happier than those who don’t.

People with college degrees are happier than those without, but people with advanced degrees are less happy.

People with an active sex life are happier than those without.

Women and men are equally happy, but women have a wider emotional range.

Having an affair will make you happy, but not if your spouse finds out and leaves you.

People are least happy when they are commuting to work.

Busy people are happier than those with too little to do.

Trust is the best predictor — But the best predictor of happiness is trust. If people trust the people around them, friends, and family, and if they trust their government, then they will score highest on the happiness surveys.

What do you think? Why is trust such a big predictor?

Eric Weiner’s book is a informative, but it’s also a fun read, filled with interesting stories as he travels all around the world. I highly recommend it, and here’s a link for the book at Amazon:

 

 

 

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Posted in happiness, psychology, Trust
4 comments on “100 Things You Should Know About People: #72 — Trust Is The Best Predictor Of Happiness
  1. Rich says:

    What a joke. How on earth can having an affair make you happy? Pleasure, sure – but happiness goes far beyond momentary pleasure. Happiness is having a peaceful conscience.

    Children bring tremendous joy and happiness. Lots of work? Yes – but they are wonderful. Especially when they’re taught correct principles.

    Please define happiness and differentiate it with pleasure.

  2. Susan Weinschenk says:

    Rich,

    Sorry if you disagree. These items are not my opinion. I am summarizing the research that Eric Weiner covers in his book.

  3. Linda W says:

    I think the researcher may confuse cause and effect: “If people trust the people around them, friends, and family, and if they trust their government, then they will score highest on the happiness surveys.”

    People who are happier are more likely to report that they trust others because they are just full of good feelings; ie, serotonin and feel-good hormones. And these brain chemicals put them in the mood to trust others, even their government.

    And no one would be surprised to find that unhappy people are likely to find fault with other people and the government, grousing and complaining about how they can’t trust them.

  4. Marisa says:

    These are really cool facts! I do tend to agree with (most of) them too…. although citing the “affair” bullet would be interesting.

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I'm a Ph.D. psychologist and I write and videoblog about how to apply psychology and brain science research to understand how people think, work, and behave. For more information about me and about the Weinschenk Institute, check out the the Team W website.

Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D.
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