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June 8, 2018

Adelphi professor identifies the source of happiness

Every year, the United Nations issues its World Happiness Report, which ranks countries in order of national contentment. This year, Bernard Gorman, Ph.D., an adjunct professor in the Derner School of Psychology, took a hard look at the data and came to a different conclusion. The societal factors the UN measured are important, he found, but bread-and-butter issues, along with a sense of belonging and feeling loved and safe, are paramount.

“Freedom, pursuing knowledge, and belief in the integrity of your government (societal factors) are important,” he noted. “However, the basics — having food, water, shelter, as well as a sense of belonging, feeling loved and safe– rose to the top. Bread before Bach!”

The paper he co-wrote, “The Happiness of Nations: A Multifactorial Construct,” was been accepted for presentation at the Association for Psychological Science convention at the end of May. One of his co-authors, Xu Zhu, is an Adelphi psychology instructor.

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