Problem. Happiness is attributed to three sources: genetics and personality (50%), the situation (10%), and voluntary behaviors (40%) (Lyubomirsky, 2008). Few studies exist on the subject of happiness factors, their duration, and how these factors may relate to Lyubomirsky's (2008) three sources of happiness, the purpose of this study. Method. Three hundred and forty-seven undergraduates listed what they felt contributed to their overall happiness. Then they indicated the three items they considered the most significant contributors. Finally, participants reported the duration (e.g., minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years) of happiness caused by each of these items. Results and Discussion. The number of happiness items participants expressed ranged from 0 to 77 (M = 28.58; SD = 13.74). The item listed most often was "family" (20.27%) followed by "friends" (15.18%). Most people gave priority to items that made them happy for "years." As priority of the items decreased so did duration suggesting that people place greater value on factors that lead to prolonged levels of happiness. These findings have implications for happiness construction and sustainability as increasing individuals' happiness levels may involve seeking out more socially-beneficial--as well as longer-lasting--resources."
Turner, J.; Morgan, M.; Webb, M.; Martin, J.; Frazee, L.; Stephens, J.; Zaremba, B.; Newsome, B.; Bokman, A.; Whittaker, E.; Kowalski, R.; and Baker, B., "On the construction and sustainability of happiness: Where does my happiness come from?" (2014). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 1.