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89% of people think that happiness can be controlled.

[Aug. 11, 2020: Tracking Happiness]



How far can the self-belief that you make your own happiness carry you, creating conditions for a self-fulfilling prophecy? A new study shows there is a happy correlation.


A new survey of 1,155 respondents found that 89% of people think that their happiness can be controlled—and these people are 32% happier than those who don’t think that happiness can be controlled.


The average happiness rating of those who think happiness is controllable is 7.39. In contrast, the average happiness rating of people who think happiness is out of their control is 5.61.



The study results dive into what makes these people different than others. What makes people feel in control of their happiness? How does that influence the happiness of these people?

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Happier people feel more in control of their happiness


The survey questioned 1,155 respondents on their happiness, by asking specific questions:

  • Is happiness something that you can control?

  • If you look back at the last year of your life, how would you rate your happiness on a scale from 1 to 10?

On average, 89% of people answered that happiness is something that you can control.


More interestingly, less happy people are also less likely to feel in control of happiness.



People with low happiness ratings were found to be 5 times more likely to feel like happiness is out of their control compared to people with high happiness ratings (20.33% versus 4.29%).


What factors influence control over our happiness?


People that felt like happiness can be controlled tend to be 32% happier than those who think otherwise.


They wanted to find out what makes these people different. Which groups of people are more likely to feel in control of their happiness? And which groups of people are happier as a result?


To find out, they asked each respondent a number of demographic questions, ranging from gender to employment status. How did these affect the ability to control our happiness?


Gender doesn’t influence control over your happiness


There was no difference between genders. Both male and female respondents showed the same results. 89% of people think that happiness is controllable.....Read More


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