User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 18

  1. #1
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    1,983

    Default Is "happiness" a biological/hereditary trait?

    Is "happiness" a biological/hereditary trait?
    If so, it's pursuit seems rather irrelevant.

    I'm not talking about the ideal concept of happiness, more like the little things that make some people happy and have no effect on others.

    Of course, nothing that behavioral is 100% bio, there is also a cognition component to it. I'd say 50%-50%.

    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.

    And most people I know have this default mood. I see my mood as neutral, not necessary unhappy.

    So if unhappiness is regarded as being somewhat biological, can we say happiness is the same?
    Can we assume that achievement is not necessary in order to reach some kind of self satisfaction? Because most overachieving people don't seem that happy, it's the ordinary people who seem to be happy, living a simple life, without too much fancyness.
    ( I specifically chose achievement, because that's the most common happiness myth)

    Of course, my view on this issue seems terribly one sided, ignoring the rest of things, but I'm willing to give biology a 50% slice, if not more.

  2. #2
    morose bourgeoisie
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,860

    Default

    Is it possible that when someone seems to be unhappy, that this is simply a perception of the viewer and not the person's intent? In other words, it could be that your friends perceive you as more unhappy than you feel.
    There are lots of reasons why someone may seem meloncholic or obsequious that are based in experience rather than a set-point for happiness or contentment. My mother was always trying to put on a happy face for my meloncholic father, but I don't think that was a reflection of her true nature. It was an expedient, necessary at a certain time and place.

  3. #3
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 sx
    Socionics
    SEE Fi
    Posts
    25,301

    Default

    Maybe. Some people seem prone to a perpetually low-grade dysphoric or melancholic mood, while other people have bigger ups and downs - they seem to feel more happiness and more sadness. People in my family tend to be this way (greater sense of happy/sad), at least on my mom's side, though it could just as easily be cultural as biological.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Looking at it in a totally unscientific way, I don't think moods are inherited. I don't think I have the same base mood as my mother or father, or any aunts, uncles, or any grandparent that I can recall. Of course, I did not know any of them when they were in their early 30's, so I could be wrong about that.

    The biology of the brain is likely inheritable, but we each have to form our own synaptic structures as we grow, learn and experience life. Consider that the average quality of life during my childhood in the 1980's was probably 2x better than the average quality of life my father had as a child in the 1950's. My moods could be more similar to people who had upbringings much like my own - two parent household, stay at home mother, limited alcohol/no drug use in the home, raised with strong religious/moral convictions, witnessed the birth of cable television, etc.

    :P

  5. #5
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w4
    Socionics
    ILE
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  6. #6
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 sx
    Socionics
    SEE Fi
    Posts
    25,301

    Default

    I dunno there seem to be plenty of dysphoric people from middle-class two parent households, and plenty of people who are happy with relatively little who were raised in near poverty.

  7. #7
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 sx
    Socionics
    SEE Fi
    Posts
    25,301

    Default

    But now I wonder - if the real underlying cause is a focus on love in the home, or an over-focus on achievement.

    If you were raised in an environment where you were constantly pushed to achieve and felt like you could only be loved if you were special and accomplished certain things, would you not go through life never satisfied unless you were constantly acquiring? (unless you got therapy or a had a major epiphanal life shift)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    I dunno there seem to be plenty of dysphoric people from middle-class two parent households, and plenty of people who are happy with relatively little who were raised in near poverty.
    Any idea if most of those people have parents with the same base mood/temperament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    If you were raised in an environment where you were constantly pushed to achieve and felt like you could only be loved if you were special and accomplished certain things, would you not go through life never satisfied unless you were constantly acquiring? (unless you got therapy or a had a major epiphanal life shift)
    It seems like classic nature vs. nurture. guesswho may be on to something with the 50% slice idea.

  9. #9
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 sx
    Socionics
    SEE Fi
    Posts
    25,301

    Default

    I honestly thought all of this actually had something to do with personality type, as well. Like...aren't NTs supposed to be more phlegmatic, and are therefore more emotionally "level." Wouldn't an INTJs emotional baseline be somewhat different than many other people around them, apart perhaps from maybe INTP and ISTJ being the most similar in temperament.

    I find that my emotional temperament is most similar to my ExFP mother and sister, my brain workings are most similar to my ENFJ sister, but that my family tends to be made happy overall by simple things, because we realize how important those simple things are. I think that's an ethical or cultural outlook as opposed to a biological one, but I could be wrong.

  10. #10
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    1,983

    Default

    So can it be fair to assume that we experience things to the extent that our brain lets us experience them, therefor not being able to experience other things because of our biology? So other things outside of our own limits might exist, but we're unable to experience them? And we're so familiar to our own point of reference, reality, that imagining one from another point of reference is way difficult if not impossible? And what we experience as being the foundation of reality is just what other animals might experience, for instance a monkey, but in a more advanced way. The monkey itself when being compared to other animals might appear high tech, as we may appear when compared to the money.

    So we are the top animal in our system, on Earth. But looking at the entire universe, Earth is just a tiny fraction, there's no big difference between Earth compared to the Universe, and a particle of sand in the desert compared to the Universe. Odds are that we are not the top animal of the Universe, and the ways in which we can biologically evolve are limitless.

    But this is totally unrelated and I think I should stop watching so much sci-fi.
    Si kicking in.

Similar Threads

  1. What is true happiness?
    By lightsun in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-25-2017, 02:11 AM
  2. Is true happiness attainable?
    By The Wailing Specter in forum General Psychology
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 12-07-2014, 04:44 PM
  3. [Other] What is your favorite quote...
    By jck221 in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 72
    Last Post: 07-09-2014, 05:43 PM
  4. Happy Birthday, Martoon! (This one is legit.)
    By Haight in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-01-2007, 12:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO