The Creation of Personal Happiness


Jayme Zesiger

Faculty Mentor(s)

Natalie Lupton (Information Technology and Administrative Management), Fen Wang (Information Technology and Administrative Management)


Happiness is something human beings all strive to acquire but how to obtain this elusive feeling remains a longstanding and intriguing inquiry. One reason for this is that there is no one specific definition of happiness and no standard measurement for it. This project focuses on defining what is believed to affect happiness from an individual’s personal perspective and aims to shed light on the current research and understanding of how to define happiness and what common variables lead to happiness. To this aim, a meta-analysis was conducted which led to the development of a mixed methods survey designed for a sample population of college students. The quantitative section of the survey utilizes the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) by Sonia Lyubomirsky and Heidi Lepper. The SHS provided a new and widely accepted approach to measure the construct of subjective happiness with high validity. Qualitative questions were added to provide more breadth and depth expanding the range of descriptive evidences to be gathered. Examples of these questions are, “What is your definition of happiness?” and “What would you say is/are a significant factor(s) that raises your happiness?” It is also noteworthy that the emergence of Covid-19 increased stress and anxiety worldwide disrupting the initial survey’s intent and reliability. This presentation provides an overview of the meta-analysis, presents the developed survey, and discusses the disruptive impact of the pandemic on the study. Suggestions for future research will be provided.

Keywords: Happiness, Meta-analysis, Mental Health


2 thoughts on “The Creation of Personal Happiness”

  1. Jayme,
    I enjoyed your presentation and mixed methods approach to personal happiness. I hope that this comes full circle for you in the near future!

  2. Allyson Rogan-Klyve

    Nice work with this project and presentation. You were able to analyze a potentially ambiguous construct and develop a solid experimental plan to study it further.

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