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  1. #11
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    I seriously don't believe that all that many things are completely rooted in biology, though certainly some are, and I wouldn't call it impossible to imagine what other people experience.


    It seems perfectly obvious to me that most people - and their larger social constructs - are combination of nature and nurture.

  2. #12
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Consider subject A who comes from a household full of laughter, love, security and warmth. Consider subject B who comes from a morose and dour household, where they're never good enough. Wonder which one will be the happier adult?

  3. #13
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    No I was thinking what it would be to experience things trough a radically different 'biology'. I think everything's rooted in biology, but in the end it's what you do with that, the way you develop.
    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bri View Post
    The biology of the brain is likely inheritable, but we each have to form our own synaptic structures as we grow
    Which I think is the same with" nature and nurture " but said differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Consider subject A who comes from a household full of laughter, love, security and warmth. Consider subject B who comes from a morose and dour household, where they're never good enough. Wonder which one will be the happier adult?
    As I said, the nurture part is 50%. If subject A's father suffers from clinical depression, he can likely inherit the condition, and be quite unhappy no matter how much love he receives. The hereditary factor being the other 50%.

    And I was wondering if this is valid for depression can it not be valid for "well being"?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by guesswho View Post
    I was with 3 friends out tonight and one of them said that I always seem rather melancholic, pointing out that all of us have a default mode and that's mine, but I don't necessarily see myself as melancholic all the time. The idea is that one of my friends is my opposite, he's always happy with basically very little.
    I am usually on the happy side with very little. I've been observing people with different approaches to life and it seems like the ones that are mostly happy have different sort of philosophy behind their lives than the ones who are a bit on the negative side.

    First of all, it seems that all authoritarian people are slightly unhappy. I find this quite logical, since in the authoritarian game it is very easy to say who is the loser, but not so easy to say that someone is a winner. You know, even the ones on the very top of the game are so stressed out by the possibility they might fall. Basically it is a constant uphill battle. No happy people there.

    Ok, then another huge group of people, the science people. If someone follows the scientific thought long enough they will see themselves as a tiny particle inside a huge universe. Other than that, they don't have any control of anything, it is all just a chain reaction. Unfortunately these news seem to be taken negatively. It could be said like "Look at this: We are part of a huge explosion, circling around a spark called sun with a speck of dust called earth! Isn't that awesome!!" I think there is something in the culture that makes us interpret science negatively.

    Then there are all kinds of people with some psychological blocks that result in focusing life on only one or two aspects (either running for them, or away from them) , and this seems to lead to unhappiness as well.

    And then there are all the isolated people who don't have real connections with other people and who don't even have a real connection between their work and their survival. What I mean is that the things they do don't feel concrete. It would feel very concrete to grow a garden and store the harvers and eat it. It would feel very concrete to do this with your friends and family, in order to support all of you. I think that money as a medium is making real world achievement- like collecting ripe fruit from the supermarket -feel to abstract.

    So, to sum up. I don't think it is biological, in most cases. It has a lot to do with the society. We are given enormous stress to keep the system running, and we are isolated of the real achievements of our work, and isolated from other people. I don't find it surprising at all that people are unhappy.

  5. #15
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    If it is, I'm completely fucked.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  6. #16
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    We'll never know : )
    But we can speculate though...

  7. #17
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    Ever wonder why we talk of the "pursuit" of happiness? Cause it doesn't come easy and is hard to hold onto, for anyone. The main difference seems to stem from a person's innate optimism or pessimism, what we choose to focus on, there's certainly patterns in Enneagram in regards to that. So I guess the question is what do you think determines our Enneagram type?

  8. #18
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Is Our Happiness Preordained?
    Though most of us spend a lifetime pursuing happiness, new research is showing that that goal may be largely out of our control. Two new studies this month add to a growing body of evidence that factors like genes and age may impact our general well-being more than our best day-to-day attempts at joy.

    In one study, researchers at the University of Edinburgh suggest that genes account for about 50% of the variation in people's levels of happiness — the underlying determinant being genetically determined personality traits, like "being sociable, active, stable, hardworking and conscientious," says co-author Timothy Bates. What's more, says Bates, these happiness traits generally come as a package, so that if you have one you're likely to have them all.

    Bates and his Edinburgh colleagues drew their conclusions after looking at survey data of 973 pairs of adult twins. They found that, on average, a pair of identical twins shared more personality traits than a pair of non-identical twins. And when asked how happy they were, the identical twin pairs responded much more similarly than other twins, suggesting that both happiness and personality have a strong genetic component. The study, published in Psychological Science, went one step further: it suggested that personality and happiness do not merely coexist, but that in fact innate personality traits cause happiness. Twins who had similar scores in key traits — extroversion, calmness and conscientiousness, for example — had similar happiness scores; once those traits were accounted for, however, the similarity in twins' happiness scores disappeared.

    Another larger study, released in January ahead of its publication in Social Science & Medicine this month, shows that whatever people's individual happiness levels, we all tend to fall into a larger, cross-cultural and global pattern of joy. According to survey data representing 2 million people in more than 70 countries, happiness typically follows a U-shaped curve: among people in their mid-40s and younger, happiness trends downward with age, then climbs back up among older people. (That shift doesn't necessarily hold for the very old with severe health problems.) Across the world, people in their 40s generally claim to be less happy than those who are younger or older, and the global happiness nadir appears to hit somewhere around 44.

    What happens at 44? Lots of things, but none that can be pinned down as the root cause of unhappiness. It's not anxiety from the kids, for starters. Even among the childless, those in midlife reported lower life satisfaction than the young or old, says study co-author Andrew Oswald, an economics professor at the University of Warwick in Britain. Other things that didn't alter the happiness curve: income, marital status or education. "You can adjust for 100 things and it doesn't go away," Oswald says. He and co-author David Blanchflower, an economist at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, also adjusted their results for cohort effects: their data spanned more than 30 years, making them confident that whatever makes people miserable about being middle-aged, it isn't related, say, to being born in the year 1960 and growing up with that generation's particular set of experiences.

    At first glance, the new studies may appear at odds with some previous ones, largely because in happiness research, a lot depends on how you ask the question. Oswald and Blanchflower looked at responses to a sweeping, general question: "Taken all together, how would you say things are these days — would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy or not too happy?" (The wording changes slightly depending on where the survey was conducted, but the question is essentially the same.) In a 2001 study, Susan Charles at University of California, Irvine, measured something slightly different: changes in positive affect, or positive emotions, versus negative affect over more than 25 years. Charles found that positive affect stayed roughly stable through young adulthood and midlife, falling off a little in older age; negative affect, meanwhile, fell consistently with age.

    Charles thinks that feelings like angst, disgust and anger may fade because as we get older we learn to care less about what others think of us, or perhaps because we become more adept at avoiding situations we don't like. (The Edinburgh researchers, too, found that older study participants scored lower than younger ones on scales of neuroticism — worry and nervousness — and higher on scales of agreeableness.) Oswald chalks up the midlife dip in happiness shown in his study to people "letting go of impossible aspirations" — first, there's the pain of fading youth and the realization that we may never accomplish all that we had dreamed, then the contentment we gain later in life through acceptance and self-awareness. "When you're young you can't do that," Oswald says.

    An oft-cited finding from other happiness research suggests, however, that neither very good events nor very bad events seem to change people's happiness much in the long term. Most people, it seems, revert back to some kind of baseline happiness level within a couple years of even the most devastating events, like the death of a spouse or loss of limbs. Perhaps that kind of stability is due to heredity — those happiness-inducing personality traits that identical twins have been shown to share.

    Still, lack of control doesn't necessarily mean lack of joy. "The research also shows that most people consider themselves happy most of the time," says University of Edinburgh's Bates. "We're wired to be optimistic. Most people think they're happier than most [other] people." And even if you aren't part of that lucky majority, Bates says, there's always that other 50% of overall life satisfaction that, according to his research, is not genetically predetermined. To feel happier, he recommends mimicking the personality traits of those who are: Be social, even if it's only with a few people; set achievable goals and work toward them; and concentrate on putting setbacks and worries in perspective. Don't worry, as the saying goes. Be happy.



    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...#ixzz1ByEF36dX
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