Defining Happiness

Defining Happiness

Watch this TED talk by Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School. He discusses some of the results of the Grant study, which has followed groups of men over a 75 year, longitudinal study, and explains some of the factors leading to a happy life.

STEP 2: After viewing this video about lessons from the longest study on happiness, ask yourself and write down your answers the following questions.

How do I define happiness for myself?

Do I consider myself a happy person right now?

What do I need in my life in life in order to be happy?

Who are the people in my life who affect my happiness?

Do you think you will feel the same when you turn 65? Why or why not?

STEP 3: Talk to a grandparent or another relative or person you know who is at least 60 years old and ask them the following questions (attach a copy of these responses with your final paper).

How do you define happiness for yourself?

Do you consider yourself a happy person right now?

What do you need in your life in life in order to be happy?

Who are the people in your life who affect your happiness?

Did you feel the same way when you were my age?

What is the biggest difference between what you thought would make you happy when you were younger and what did make you happy as you got older?

STEP 4: Write a 2-3 page paper (500-800 words) in APA format that synthesizes and reflects upon the responses to these questions. As you write the paper, compare and contrast your own answers to the questions and those provided by the older person you interviewed. Were there similarities in your answers? What were some of the differences? Do you think happiness means something vastly different for younger vs. older people? Explain.

Follow APA protocols for writing an interview paper (see below). Reference your sources but do not include the last name of the person you interviewed to assure confidentiality.


Last name, FI. (Year, Month date). Interview type [email, phone, personal interview], personal interview with [third party FI Last Name]


Smith, R. (2019, July 29). Personal interview.

The paper should be 12 point font with 1 inch margins.

Below is the rubric which you should follow as you are organizing your responses (from you and the person you interview) and then constructing your paper. VIDEO

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