Chapter 3 discusses the topic of subjective well-being which brings the question of "what does it mean to be happy?" For self-report measures, there are two assumptions that are made, one being that the amount of happiness someone feels can be translated into a numerical number, and two being that if two people both scored a "6" on the same test then they have the same level of happiness no matter what societal level. There are empirical results that actually affirm the validity of these two assumptions (Diener, 1984), which is a little a questionable to me. I do agree that people from different societal levels can have relatively the same degree of happiness, but what about all the factors involved? There are different kinds of happiness, such as someone can have an overwhelmingly happy due to the love they from their family and friends even though they have a crappy job as to someone who is the same level of happiness with no family or love but lots of money and wealth. .
There has been scientific evidence that one's average level of happiness and life satisfaction are both relatively stable (Costa, McCrae, 1984, 1986, 1988; Diener, 1994; McCrae, 2011). The study that Harker and Keltner did found that the intensity of a women's smile in her high school photo was significant to well-being and quality of marital relationships 30 years later. This actually made me laugh a little bit and I became curious to see in my yearbook who was truly smiling. After looking back, I was wondering what the study would show if it was tested on men.only because men do not normally smile when taking high school photos, I could only find a small group of men that had genuine smiles.
Emmons (1992) has found that abstract goals are hard to take part in due to not knowing if you have truly achieved them, so it causes a decrease in immediate well-being. Opposite of that, concrete goals can be reached and you will know immediately that you have done so.