Why Happy People Do it Better | The Science of Happiness

Why Happy People Do it Better | The Science of Happiness

Julian Huguet: Would you like some snacks?
Participant 1: Ooo yum!
JH: Yes exactly! Would you like any snacks or any?
Participant 2: Yes all of them!
JH: By all means!
[title music]
JH: In order to be happy, you need to be successful.
Thank you. If you work hard, if you’re good
enough eventually your efforts are going to
be recognized and rewarded. Well what if I
told you you had it backwards.That being successful
doesn’t make lead to happiness, but rather,
happiness leads to success. You need a minute
to process that? It’s fine. I’ll wait.
It’s true! Happy people are better at problem solving,
figuring out new options, and being creative!
Statistically happy people perform better
with marriage, friendships, income, work performance,
and health! I kid you not, someone somewhere
figured that out. I don’t know them, but here.
We wanted to see if we could prove it ourselves
here in our lab. We gathered a selection of
volunteers and we split them into two groups,
a control group and an experimental group.
For the experimental group we tried to change
their mood with something called positive affectivity.
That’s science for we affected them positively.
JH: Would you like some snacks? Would you
like some snacks or any.
Participant 1: Yes, all of them! [laughs]
JH: By all means! We have a video queued up for you that
we’d like you to check out.
JH: We’d also like to thank you for coming
in and sharing your time with us so we’d like
to offer you a gift card.
Participant 3: Sweet!
JH: Yeah!
JH: A gift card for you as another token of
our appreciation.
JH: For our control group we gave them nothing.
[crickets chirping]
JH: Then we gave everybody the same problem
solving exercise. We gave everybody ten minutes.
JH: We have a little puzzle for you.
P1: Okay!
JH: So we have this cork board and a candle,
and a box. Inside this box are tacks and matches.
Your puzzle, should you choose to accept it,
is keeping this cork board upright, you have
to somehow affix this candle to the board
in such a way that when you light it and let
it run down completely none of the wax will
drip on the table, on the support, on the
floor, anything like that. Does that make
Participant 4: Yeah
P3: Anywhere on the cork board?
JH: Mhm.
P2: Am I okay to still eat?
JH: Absolutely! Good luck!
Participant 5: When should I begin?
JH: Now! So would the group we put in a good
mood perform better than the control group?
Let’s find out!
P2: I don’t know how long this is gonna take.
P1: There’s not gonna be wind or anything
like it’s just..nothing crazy like that?
JH: No, we’re not gonna submit it through
like structural test or anything no it’s okay.
P4: I need like Jeopardy music or something like that.
P5: But it’s okay to drip on the board.
JH: The board itself? The cork board? No.
P5: No?
JH: No
P5: What it’s gonna dissipate?
P1: Can I tear this?
JH: Yup!
P5: What’s going on right there?
P2: I can use the box too right?
P2: Yay!
JH: Success! Let me see that candle burning!
Yeah you got it! Way to go!
JH: You melted the wax and stuck it directly
on the cork board. It’s creative, I will give
you that. It’s not the answer.
P6: What do you mean?
JH: Well if you were to light this and the
candle were to meltdown.
P6: Eventually, yeah but that’s gonna happen
however you do it.
JH: Not necessarily!
P6: Okay.
JH: You got it!
P5: I got it?
JH: Woah, that was close. That was a buzzer
JH: It’s definitely interesting.
JH: I think it’s safe in saying, the simplest
solution we’ve seen all day.
JH: This satisfies all the requirements we
gave you!
P1: Yes!
JH: Definitely!
JH: Congratulations let me very carefully.
P4: I don’t want to burn the place down!
JH: Well, what do we have here?
P7: Nothing. [laughs]
JH: I wouldn’t say that!
JH: Do you feel like you’re better at coming
up with options, different options, when you’re
in a good mood?
P4: I would say so, my mind is just more expanded
when I’m in a good mood. It kinda helps me
to just breathe and think about it more instead
of just trying to force it to get done.
JH: Do you think success leads to happiness
or happiness leads to success.
P5: Ah, the age old question. Success is when
preparation meets opportunity, so to answer
your question I think its not relevant in terms
of success. Everybody has their own opinions
on what success is!
JH: Does success lead to happiness or does
happiness lead to success.
P1: Obviously if you’re happy then you’re
probably gonna be more successful and everybody
has different definition of success. So if
you’re happy and you’re doing what you love,
hey you’re successful. So it just depends
on your own definition of success, so I think
happiness has to come first.
JH: Do you think success leads to happiness
or happiness leads to success?
P8: If you’re happier, you probably think
more clearly, more optimistically and then
you have better chances at success.
JH: What are the results? We found that the
group we subjected to positive affectivity
on average solved it 14% faster than the control
group. Now there’s no way to know for sure
if the people we brought in for our experimental
group were just naturally better problem solvers
to begin with. Plus we had a very small sample
size, so the results aren’t bulletproof. But,
take it for what it’s worth! In fact I’ll
even let you in on a little secret. I’m not
a real scientist! Felt good to get that off
my chest. So, go on then, be happy!
[off camera]: What if we’re not happy?
JH: Well it’s funny you should ask that because
I actually have four episodes down here that
can help you flip the switch. I’m Julian and
this has been The Science of Happiness.

98 thoughts on “Why Happy People Do it Better | The Science of Happiness”

  1. Well the people that were given the experiment without any treats couldve already chosen happiness before even entering the lab .. Whose to say they werent having a great day before

  2. This makes perfect sense, Literally been stuck on a uni project, got just over a week left. Basically restarted it over the last weekend cus I wasn't happy with it, literally pumped out an entire semesters worth of work in a day, what did I do different? Basically put on the Ricky Gervais show and listen to the insane ramblings of Karl Pilkington and just enjoying doing the work for once.

  3. This is 100% true, I do a LOT better on exams when I am less stressed and having a positive attitude going into the test, everything will just suddenly "click" for me and i breeze through it. Sometimes I even remember things in class i never took notes for, that's why i kinda stopped studying and stressing myself last minute and usually play games hours before an exam, get a cup of coffee, and ace that dam thing 🙂

  4. I'm gonna be needing the name and number of the woman with the glasses, if SoulPancake wants my Subscription, then those are my terms and they are NOT negotiable. XD

  5. why did he not mention how 2 of the people who were happy, although they didn't solve it correctly, took 2 completely different way of doing the task? one by "gluing" the candle with its own wax and the other without using the box. They weren't done "corrrectly" but in their way of taking the question they were right

  6. What about the Edgar Allen Poe's of the world? There's this notion that tortured, depressed people are more creative and come up with inspired work stemming from their condition. Wonder how you account for that…

  7. I love to motivate, encourage and provide inspiration. Check out my motivational videos for inspiration. Please Subscribe!!! 🙂

  8. Read the first 12 pages of the top entry "The Present" on TruthContest♥com if you want to be fulfilled by life anywhere, all the time. Read on, there's more…

  9. i love soulpancake videos!
    but… the study link does not work 🙁
    Could you fix it, please? i really wanna read it.

  10. I love everything about this video series. Mostly the not-scientist gentleman… Yep, mostly him. And his awesome Chucks.

  11. this video is great
    me and my friends were inspired by this and made our own video
    please like and make us happy (: !!!

  12. You are in a contradiction with yourselvessss!!! In another video you "prove" that happiness is not about money etc. Here you give people gift cards to put them into a happier mood?????

  13. You guys are fricken' awesome! I just discovered your channel and I looooovvveee it! YOU ROCK DUDES! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness! xxx

  14. Sorry. But for me, you speak too quickly . Do you can subtitle in english . I am a argentinian student of english language. And I have just understand only the 10 percent.

  15. I feel that we could argue aspects of this 'positive affectivity' within the results in correlation of success and happiness. With most of the treats offered- they were mainly full of sugar, which can give a rush of energy and difference of blood flow- giving heavy stimulation to the subjects. Communication is another key issue, with the experimental group they had heavier communication with what seems like the whole cast- leaving them more comfortable during the puzzle-solving part. I strongly believe in the science of happiness- however I think this test is a bit flawed.

  16. If you have some habilities to do certain things you would be more succesfull for that and if a person doesen´t have it wont so the hapiness here dont play a big role, plus you arent describing what tipe of hapiness you are talking about(making me laugh and giving me some chocolate for me is just a little pleasure)

  17. The earth is our cell and blood system then you can seeing only but cannot think. If you think, you will wrong. If you can stop to think,you will be happiness.

  18. Thanks for sharing this, SoulPancake! Guys please take a look at my vlog on 10 Ways To Become HAPPY Quickly! https://youtu.be/vsWuOq3r9F8 🙂 xx

  19. Really hate the lack of scientific proof that "the science of happiness" is. But I love the videos. There are some things that probably is causation, but a lot are correlation that was in the study.

  20. this guy infuriates me with just existing. its not even real science, he just made a bunch of people eat snacks then work. and starved the other group then made them work too. its slavery all over again.

  21. If you choose to ‘’believe’’ in a god or gods, spiritualism, mysticism, magic, miracles, or anything supernatural, that is your individual ‘’belief’’ selection.
    I am here to inform you that none of those beliefs are necessary for you to come to a full understanding of individual human unendarkenment, individual human enlightenment.
    I am talking about what every ‘’wise’’ man and ‘’wise’’ woman, every ‘’sage’’ and ‘‘seer’’, throughout human history, has been attempting to elucidate for humankind.
    You do not have to ‘’believe’’ in anything to achieve individual human happier-ness.

    [email protected]

  22. Can happiness be nothing more than learning to relax? To arrive at this conclusion you need to take a look at another excellent TED video (naturally)

    What makes people feel happy?
    To which one may respond, Why not simply ask them?
    That’s what the psychologist Matt Killingsworth (who discusses his research in an excellent TED video) did when he polled over 15000 people using an iPhone app at random times during their day. He discovered that a feeling of pleasure, contentment, or happiness occurred when folks were doing one thing at a time, that’s it. He didn’t quite fully define his terms, such as what is this feeling of happiness and what do we exactly mean by attending to one thing at a time.


    So what do we mean by the pleasure of happiness?
    All pleasures, from eating a burger to having sex correlate with the release of opioids in the brain. Obviously, we can’t all be eating supper or making love as our only solitary pursuit, so why would (as Killingsworth noted) we feel happy and content when driving a car and just focusing on the road ahead? The only activity that is correlated with opioid release other than the pleasures of the flesh are the pleasures of neuro-muscular inactivity, or resting states. And we know this because if you are relaxed and receive the opioid antagonist naltrexone, the opioid induced mild euphoria associated with rest disappears.(citation)


    So, our first hypothesis is this: happiness is primarily due to relaxation.
    But if the feeling of happiness is derived from resting states that are strongly correlated with the simple act of staying on task, this brings us to our second question.
    What do we mean by attending to one thing at a time?
    Just that. Solitary thoughts means you have no conflicting thoughts, so if you are focusing on getting a job done either physically or mentally, you are not thinking about anything that interferes with the task at hand. Besides Killingsworth’s findings, what additional proof do we have of this? Simple, nearly all relaxation procedures have at their core doing one thing at a time. From meditation to simply walking on the beach, doing one thing at a time is the foundational principle. For the concept of meditation, this conclusion is particularly telling.
    In a landmark article in the Journal ‘The American Psychologist’, the psychologist David Holmes demonstrated that the end result or dependent measure of meditative procedures was identical to resting states. Here, it may also be argued that the independent measures or procedural correlates to resting states are also in essence the same. Thus meditation is rest and rest is meditation.


    Ultimately, the problem is that by not understanding the neuro-physiology of rest and how it is elicited, we cannot define happiness or how we can attain it, nor can we effectively define and control stress.
    Here is a link to a free little book on the psychology of rest that attempts to do precisely this. The book is based on several published journal articles by the author on the neuro-physiology of rest. It is written for both lay and academic audiences, and by the way demonstrates why Killingsworth’s research is completely right.


  23. This is a little complicated because what if they each had something they enjoyed doing…what if some r naturally not into assembling things etc…but we're happy prior to the experiment

  24. I love your videos, my only problem is this experiment could be due to many other things such as the glucose in the food. I'm sure there could've been other ways to reduce other factors? But keep up the great videos

  25. Do all of these people have the same level IQ? Because that might affect their ability to problem solve. I'm sure a miserable person with an IQ of 160 would perform better then a happy person with an IQ of 85.

  26. Happiness is not just being to able to accomplish whatever you want, but rather a set of principles implemented in a specific environment



  28. it's for Someone who mention the Comment "He's not real Scientist"
    Here i appreciated he's way of Watching to identify.. But what matter whether is real or Fake but matter is Rules. If Someone can define simple rules with big impact he's Scientist without degree.

    Gratitude make anyone what they want.

  29. Everyone is saying that there's different definitions to success and I'm so pleased with that because I'd define success as happiness. As long as you're happy, I'd say that you have a very large degree of success in your life!

  30. Next time filming staged actors, check your video edit. The "said control group" were given nothing, but clearly the video shows a participant at 2:40 asking if she can still eat her snack!

  31. Definitely tainted the data by giving food. The experimental group had unfair fuel advantage 🙂 Just kidding. Fun idea and great vid.

  32. you didn't make them happy, you gave them reasons to be motivated. you would've got the same result by giving them a damn decent amount of money

  33. When you know that you're worthy of love and belong at the end of a long hard day then someone else's opinion about your level of success doesn't matter.
    Whether or not you got only 10 things done or knocked out your to do list, you'll know that what you got done that day is a bad measure of how happy you are allowed to be.

  34. hmmmm…. I alway felt bad that I watched funny youtube videos during studying but maybe I shouldn't feel bad because they make me feel happier and then I'm able to study better, maybe that's why I do it in the first place and I never realized. So feeling bad for it is really stupid actually…

  35. I figured out the answer to the cork board experiment literally the moment he gave the instructions, and I'm super sick and not very happy about it. What does that mean?

  36. agree … good points and useful information that can change your life…. I also like this one .short and crisp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwXv0Cuc1f4

  37. my definition of success is anything that results in happiness. I also believe that happy people are more successful by any standards.

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