What makes men happy?

What makes men happy?

Yes, I’m a geek. I plowed through the entire statistics program in university and still wanted more.  I wrote my honors thesis on “Research Perceptions of Probability Values”. Really.

That why I got very excited about a study just published from Harvard.  It’s one-of-a-kind research.  Over 260 men were tracked from age 18 to age 93, every 2 years.  Researchers measured men’s mental and physical health, career enjoyment, retirement experience and marital quality.  Quality of life was measured in real time, not just retrospectively.

The biggest discoveries that they made were:

Being really friendly beats being really smart, even if it’s just to make money:

  • Those who scored highest on measurements of “warm relationships” earned an average of $141,000 a year more
  • There was no significant difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110–115 range and men with IQs higher than 150.

Lay off the bottle – of all variables measured, alcoholism is a disorder with the greatest destructive power.

  • Alcoholism was the main cause of divorce
  • Strongly correlates with neurosis and depression, which tended to followalcohol abuse, rather than precede it.
  • Together with associated cigarette smoking, was the single greatest contributor to their early morbidity and death.

Most importantly, those who were most satisfied at any stage of life were those who had the warmest relationships with others.

Money, social status, marital status, education, intelligence – all fell by the wayside when compared to warm relationships.  There are so many more juicy findings, but as the director, Valliant, states, all the data can be summarized into 5 words:

“Happiness is Love.  Full Stop.”

For more of the findings, there is a great summary here.

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