Who doesn’t want to be happy?

For many, finding happiness is a treasured lifelong goal.  The “pursuit of happiness”  is a fundamental human right, at least according to the US Declaration of Independence alongside Liberty and Life itself.   And really – who couldn’t stand a little more happiness in their lives?

But according the authors of a new review article published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, happiness can have a dark side.

In their study, June Gruber of Yale University’s Department of Psychology and Director of Yale’s “Positive Emotion & Psychopathology Laboratory”, with her co-authors, Iris Mauss of the University of Denver and Maya Tamir of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say that happiness shouldn’t be thought of as a universally good thing.

Not all types and degrees of happiness are equally good, they say, claiming that the act of pursuing happiness can actually make people feel worse.

Listen to the interview here…

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Other stories we’ll cover on the Science World radio program this week include: