Episode 88: Studying Happiness with Liz Dunn

Elizabeth Dunn studies the psychology of happiness. One of her major research areas has looked at generosity’s effects on well-being. We’re happier when we spend money on other people. But studying happiness has its challenges, especially if we want to build strategies that help people feel happier. So, she shared a snapshot of her research on happiness and a new paper with Dunigan Folk looking at how strong the evidence is for different happiness-boosting strategies.

Things that come up in this episode: 

  • A big social experiment through the TED organization to see what people do when they receive $10,000 (Dwyer & Dunn, 2022; Dwyer et al., 2023)
  • The benefits of generosity for our well-being (see Dunn et al., 2020; also see Episode 23 with Lara Aknin)
  • Digging deep into the research on happiness to see how strong the evidence is for happiness-boosting strategies (Folk & Dunn, 2023; also Folk & Dunn, 2024)


Download a PDF version of this episode’s transcript.

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