When you consider that happiness is something EVERY human being desires and works hard to find, the lack of solid scientific research on the subject is shocking.

   There are only four main sources of information; Martin Seligman’s “school” of scientists working in the “Positive Psychology Movement”; the world database on happiness, compiled by Prof. Ruut Veenhoven at Erasmus University Rotterdam; a few scientific journals (mostly in the field of psychology) publishing related research – such as studies on creativity and meaning, and – being generous with the term “scientific” – nonfiction self-help books and articles on happiness.

   The last ‘resource’ (self-help books and websites) I’ll discuss in a separate article. There are some excellent works available (but they are as rare as chilly days in July in Rio !) – and they deserve their own thorough review.

   So let’s take a little tour of this sadly limited corner of science, so YOU can compare and contrast, and come to your own conclusions. 

     Martin Seligman is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and is probably the foremost ‘expert’ in the field of happiness research.


   Martin Seligman, founder of the

Positive Psychology Movement

Prof. Ruut Veenhoven,

Erasmus U. Rotterdam


Covers collage from the Journal

of Creative Behavior

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