What Is Happiness? Scientists vs. Citizens

Compare the dominant scientific definition of happiness with the common sense one. Discover the missing component to happiness, forgotten by the scientists.

Go to the profile of Dr Ilona Boniwell
Mar 25, 2015
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Read more on: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4888706.stm Take happiness seriously by taking an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology: www.anglia.ac.uk/imapp
Go to the profile of Dr Ilona Boniwell

Dr Ilona Boniwell

Strategic Programme Leader, MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and CEO, Positran, Positran and Anglia Ruskin University

Who am I? I suppose, the very first answer would be a “positive psychologist”, since all my career and professional achievements have something to do with this wonderful area of scholarship. I founded and headed the first Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) in Europe, created the European Network of Positive Psychology, organised the first European Congress of Positive Psychology (June 2002, Winchester), and was the first vice-chair of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). Nowadays, I run the iMAPP, international MSc in Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, teach positive leadership at l’Ecole Centrale Paris (a top engineering school in France) and run Positran, a busy consultancy dedicated to achieving transformation through positive psychology. When it comes to my areas of expertise, I have quite a few passions: psychology of time, resilience, eudaimonic well-being and applications of positive psychology to oneself, leadership, coaching, parenting and education. I am the author or editor of six books (including Positive Psychology in a Nutshell and the Oxford Handbook of Happiness) and multiple academic and popular articles. My media work included BBC, Guardian, Times, Psychologies, Top Sante and Cosmopolitan. I am often invited to give keynote addresses to psychologists, coaches, and other professional audiences, including delivering a TEDx talk last year. Every year, I teach hundreds of leaders and mature students in the UK, France, Portugal, Singapore, Japan and many other countries across the world on how to use positive psychology in very real, tangible, nuts-and-bolts ways. Who am I personally? First of all, I am a wife and a mother or step-mother to five children (2, 14, 15, 16 and 17 years old). In fact, I progressed from having two to five children in the space of one year, so I had to really learn to walk the talk when it comes to positive parenting. Since last November, I've had the pleasure and the privilege to be a monthly Psychologies columnist, writing about the triumphs and challenges of running a large step-family; being friends with the ex-wife and negotiating educational expectations… I speak four languages, and can no longer clearly say where I am from (mixing Russian, Latvian, British and French origins and experiences). I have two cats and one dog, and I love ideas, making sense, creating something new from existing elements, and making tiny baby steps to changing the world towards something better.

3 Comments

Go to the profile of Kirsty Morgan
Kirsty Morgan about 3 years ago

Thank you for this video. I enjoyed watching it and think you only stop and notice how great your friendships are, how beautiful the flowers are, etc when you are feeling calm and positive. When you're churned up with negativity and anxiety it's hard to notice these things. It's also hard to put yourself forward for learning something new when you feel like that. So in my opinion the science makes sense because you need to be overall more positive to feel overall happier with the 'little things' (aka the big things!).

Go to the profile of Agatha Penney
Agatha Penney about 3 years ago

Thank you for your video, the scenery behind you made me feel grateful for the ability to admire such beauty :-) and the fact that 75% of the scientifically established reason (connecting) behind people's happiness does really speak volumes!

Go to the profile of Lydia Kimmerling
Lydia Kimmerling over 2 years ago

That back drop is insane. Very informative, thank you.