Why and how is happiness important??
One of the most salient and significant dimensions of human experience and emotional life is happines. Aristotle's (trans. 1974) two millennia-old argument that happiness is the whole aim and end of human existence. Why some people are happier than others is important for both theoretical and practical reasons, and the pursuit of its answer should be a central goal of a positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). people rank the pursuit of happiness as one of their most cherished goals in life (Diener & Oishi, 2000; Diener, Suh, Smith, & Shao, 1995; Freedman, 1978; Triandis, Bontempo, Leung, & Hui, 1990; for an exception, see Lyubomirsky, 2000). Furthermore, happiness appears to have a number of positive by-products, which may benefit not only individuals, but families, communities, and societies (see Myers, 1992; Veenhoven, 1988, for reviews). a great deal of research has addressed this question. the general conclusion from almost a century of research on the determinants of well-being is that objective circumstances, demographic variables, and life events are correlated with happiness less strongly than intuition and everyday experience tell us they ought to be (cf. Diener et al., 1999; Lyubomirsky & Ross, 1999). By several estimates, all of these variables put together account for no more than 8% to 15% of the variance in happiness (e.g., Andrews & Withey, 1976; Argyle, 1999; Diener, 1984;Diener et al., 1999).
remarkably small associations between happiness and wealth, such as Myers's (2000) observation that as Americans' personal income has nearly tripled in the last half century, their happiness levels have remained the same, and Diener and colleagues' finding that the wealthiest Americans—those earning more than $10 million annually—report levels of personal happiness only trivially greater than their less affluent peers (Diener, Horwitz, & Emmons, 1985).
Furnham, A. & Petrides, K. V. TRAIT EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND HAPPINESS. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal; 2003, Vol. 31 Issue 8, p815-823.
measures of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI), happiness, personality, and cognitive ability. Neuroticism was negatively related to happiness, whereas Extraversion and Openness to Experience were positively related to it. The positive relationship between trail EI (not cognitive ability) and happiness persisted in the presence of the Big Five. In contrast, the Big Five did not account for a significant amount of happiness variance when trait EI was partialled out.