What the Second-Happiest People Get Right

In 2007, a group of researchers began testing a concept that seems, at first blush, as if it would never need testing: whether more happiness is always better than less. The researchers asked college students to rate their feelings on a scale from “unhappy” to “very happy” and compared the results with academic (GPA, missed classes) and social (number of close friends, time spent dating) outcomes. Though the “very happy” participants had the best social lives, they performed worse in school than those who were merely “happy.”

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