Seventy-five years ago, in 1938, Harvard University began a study following the lives of 250+ young men to see how the various ups and downs of adulthood would affect their experience. As Feelguide summarizes, “The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing. The astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits — ranging from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum” — indicates just how exhaustive and quantifiable the research data has become. “
Last year, scholar George Vaillant, who ran the study for more than three decades, published some of the results in a digestible form, his book, Triumphs of Experience. The whole book certainly seems like a worthwhile read, but in the meantime, this summary from Feelguide.com provides lots of insights.
Like if you want to be happy and successful, you have to manage your alcohol consumption. And your IQ and income don’t really affect your level of perceived happiness. And, oh yeah, your relationship with your mom matters. A lot.
Check out the Feelguide.com’s article on the study here, as well as a link to an interview with Dr. Valliant: 75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life