The research shall ponder and develop concrete conclusions on the factors determining happiness by comprehensively elucidating on hedonism, desire and objective list theories of happiness. Additionally, it shall strive to identify the relationship between happiness and the social setting of an individual. The research is centered towards verifying one of the following hypotheses and differentiates the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.
- The gradation of happiness among university students is naturally controlled and not affected by social, economic and environmental factors.
- Happiness among the university study is greatly influenced by the social, economic and natural environment surrounding them.
This approach will provide insight into the real nature of happiness and the particular aspects that surround it.SS Additionally, it will explore the basic concepts that determine the happiness of an individual in the contemporary social setting.
The research shall use a quantitative approach where it will comprehensively review the theories of happiness in an effort to pinpoint the drivers that affect happiness in a society. Additionally, it shall carefully describe the prevailing state of affairs involving different individuals. These theories that are meaningful and amenable in the analysis of happiness are:
Hedonism: this theory holds that the raw subjective feelings determine the happiness of an individual (Franklin, 2010). It, however, does not indicate whether someone living a happy life will live in that state for their entire lifetime. It is plumbed on a retrospective decree of life as a whole.
Desire theory: it holds that happiness is a determined by what you want. Generally, a society desires lots of pleasure and little or no pain.
Objective List Theory: worthwhile, valuable items such as friendship, career accomplishments, material comforts and good conscience are believed to be the main drivers of the state of happiness Franklin, 2010). Feelings and desires must be taken into account.
There is a lot of literature work on happiness which has accumulated due to extensive research by psychologists, economists, political scientists and sociologists. A number of scholars have claimed that happiness is determined by inborn predispositions (Michael, 2001).A research that compared twins from different backgrounds supported the genetics connection to happiness. Individuals’ personality also determines the level of happiness among individuals (Michael, 2001). When people have a different personality, it was noted that their happiness level varied at a large extent. Social conditions and human natures are also major in determining the level happiness. Recent studies indicate that happiness can also be as a result of subjective well-being. Satisfactory emotional responses are also a leading factor that contributes to happiness (Alesina et.al, 2004).
There are three common approaches that determine the factors leading to happiness. They include needs, relative standards and the cultural approach. Basic human needs leads to life satisfaction which contributes to happiness amongst individuals (Richard, 2003). Though this is self-evident, researchers have been in a tight fix to come up with theories that determine the exact needs required to satisfy the needs. Relative standards revolve around the assumption that given conditions is compared to reference standards (Michael, 2001). A higher or lower reference is common in measuring the happiness as a lower reference means that an individual will be more satisfied and happier than using a higher reference standard. In a culture, the practiced norms and traditions play a big role in determining happiness in the society. The way culture is practiced may either increase or decrease the level of happiness amongst individuals (Richard, 2003).
What are the factors that influence happiness amongst the university students?
What are the different levels of happiness amongst the students?
What are the predictable factors that lead to happiness amongst university students?
Method of data collection
The survey method was used to collect data from a sample of the university students comprising of sixty five females and fifty eight males. The level of happiness on the participants was measured using the happy planet index. The survey method was chosen because this method of research is cost effective, reliable, versatile and generalizable. However, during the research the researcher was expecting some drawbacks to this method such as inflexibility and validity. The questionnaire was used to determine the factors that affect the level of happiness for different individuals (Bartram, 2012).
Individuals who belong to family that earns a relative to average income of around 50% scored a rise in happiness of 1. Those individuals that are in favor of freedom especially from their teachers and parents scored happiness index of 2.5. In religious matter, those people who are deeply associated with religion scored a happiness index of 2. Trust and morality were also variables that were used to test happiness index. People that embrace trust and morality in their lives scored happiness indexes of 1 each while those who do not practice trust and morality scored 0.8 and 0.7 respectively (Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Frijters, 2002)..
Data analysis and interpretation
According to the data above, freedom is the main factor that determines the level of happiness. Among other factors freedom constitutes the largest portion of 34%, while religion comes second with 27%. Morality, trust and income have the lowest influence of the happiness with 13% each. Therefore, among the students freedom and religion are the factors that influence happiness as described below (Bartram, 2012).
In a nutshell, the happiness of the student is highly influenced by freedom provided by their parents and lectures. Therefore, it is upon the parents and lectures to give the students happiness through effective freedom. Religion and other factors should be used to enhance happiness among students
Although the research may find that the source of happiness is freedom, there are other studies show that freedom is not the main source of freedom. There are those people who are free due to government system and free from their parents and they are less happy. Moreover, there are many religious people, who could not find happiness. Studies also indicate that money or level of income is not the main determinant of happiness. It is logically wrong to state that all poor people are less happy because they earn small or no income.
Alesina, Alberto, Rafael Di Tella, and Robert MacCulloch. 2004. “Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?” Journal of Public Economics 88: 2009-42.
Bartram, D. (2012). Elements of Sociological Contribution to Happiness Studies. Sociology compass 6/8, pp. 644-656, 10.1111/j. 1751-9020.2012.00483.
Easterlin, Richard A. 2003. “Explaining Happiness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 100: 11176-11183.
Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., & Frijters, P. (2002). How important is methodology for the estimates of the determinants of happiness?. Amsterdam [etc.: Tinbergen Institute.
Franklin, S. S. (2010). The psychology of happiness: A good human life. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
McBride, Michael. 2001. “Relative-Income Effects on Subjective Well-Being in the Cross-Section.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 45: 251-78.