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Are we happy yet? Unexpected links between happiness and Choice


Choices that make people happy are complex according to a co-authored by Business School professor Jennifer Aaker study. These factors include the age of the subject, from the point of view of time, and focus on the present or the future?

Stanford School of Business - The key to happiness lies in the choices you make, it's what they say.
However, new research from the former employees Jennifer Aaker, Cassie Mogilner and September Kamvar suggests that people do not make decisions based on a single or shared notion of happiness. In "How Happiness impacts choice," a forthcoming article in the "Journal of Consumer"  Research, by Cassie Mogilner (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Aaker (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University), and Kamvar (Institute of Stanford University for Engineering and Computational Mathematics), conclude that people's relationship with happiness is a complex issue, as provided demographic (age) and psychographic (living in this report is focusing on the future .) However, the individual experience of happiness people may systematically influence, and can lead to predictable outcomes.
In 2010 his collaboration Mogilner, Aaker, and Kamvar identified two types of happiness. Some consumers define happiness as an "awakening" or exciting emotion. Others experience a sense of calm and peace. In his book of 2011, researchers concluded that people can switch between these two very different experiences. Based on the vision of happiness that promote at some point, people make different decisions.
Based on previous studies, researchers believed that attitudes toward happiness - either exciting or calm - depend largely on the age of the individual. "The direction of movement of happiness," published in early 2011 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality, which summarizes the results. In this paper, the researchers analyzed 70,000 independent instances in which online bloggers wrote about feelings of happiness . Younger bloggers were much more likely to describe situations that reflect the mentality of the happiness-equals-excitement. Elderly people tend to adopt the point of view of the happiness-equals-peace. "We knew we age, our priorities change, but we have not known is that our definition of happiness also changes -. In a systematic and predictable manner - in the course of life, "said Aaker.
However, why keep these effects? Why is it that the definition of happiness changes as people age? The results of six new studies answer this question. As people age, their time-change targets if it is likely to focus on the here and now or in the future. And it is this temporal element that drives the basic effects. "We now believe that the opinions of individual happiness depends more on your sense of time than their age per se," said Aaker.
In one of the six studies, the researchers recruited young adult volunteers - people waiting perceive happiness as an exciting experience. They told half of the volunteers to focus on the present, and give up thinking about something other than this. This group of volunteers was then much more likely to define happiness as volunteers "peaceful" that do not focus on the present moment.
Accordingly, "we now believe that attitudes toward happiness are highly malleable and, in fact, easily influenced, simply by changing the time that people think," said Aaker.
The companies hope to increase happiness (employees and consumers) should first consider what kind of happiness - calm and exciting - that their products are more likely to evoke. And indeed, this kind of companies are different. Consider the general campaign BMW "Stories of Joy," which includes a website where users can upload homemade videos showing the driving pleasure. Whiskas created the "Happy Together" online community as a place where people can share happy moments with their cats. Based on Mogilner, Aaker, and Kamvar's most recent research, these brands can be more effective by consumers "preparation" to experience happiness in a way that puts the country in the best way.
BMW campaign clearly hopes that consumers will see happiness as a state of excitement. To maximize its effectiveness, BMW should push consumers to have a view of long-term future of happiness. Alternatively, the web Whiskas "depicts happiness as a quiet emotion. You must provide contextual cues that encourage consumers to enjoy the moment.
Since happiness is not the same for everyone, marketers must take into account the types of consumers who want to reach. You should also consider how to convey happiness. As a benefit of using the product? As an aspect of the personality of the brand? Even the colors are displayed in advertisements and warranty issues.
In one of the other studies described in his most recent article, the researchers presented 50 consumers between the ages of 19 and 68 with a list of colors, objects, people, activities and trademarks. Consumers have indicated that the elements of the list to be enthusiastic, and that calmed. Warm colors like red tended to excite participants. Cool colors like blue to promote a feeling of tranquility. Nike, Target, and Apple brands were deemed exciting, but Johnson & Johnson, Lululemon, and Borders raised calm feelings. Even certain types of people (children, friends) and activities (dancing, running) were considered exciting, whereas other types of people and activities (spouses, parents, reading, yoga) induced calm.
To take full advantage of investments in the country, "happiness", companies must give generalized or generic ideas of happiness and focus on the real experiences of their customers want.

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