The Happiness of Pursuit


Question One

The authors utilize various research methods at investigating the happiness pursuit. One of these used approaches includes a literature review. In this type of research design, investigators collect data from the existing literature on the concerned issue. In so doing, the investigator can determine the findings of the previous researchers and examine research gaps. For instance, the authors rely on Morelli and Liberman’s study, which found that people operating at cognitive load have low empathy reactions, with neural activity down across four different brain regions. Although researchers widely acknowledge literature review as one of the best methods to conduct a study, they highlight both its benefits and setbacks.

One of the benefits of literature review design is that it allows investigators to assess the current state of a topic. Secondly, it can assist a researcher to evaluate the position of experts on specific issues. Thirdly, literature review methods ensure researchers determine study methods that previous investigators utilized. Nevertheless, sole dependence on these methods limits investigators to problems that previous researchers have examined. Secondly, the use of outdated literature could mislead investigators. Secondly, the authors have used surveys in their study. The writers have further referred to different survey findings and questionnaires. Additionally, the authors conducted surveys to determine whether or not people improve their level of happiness after spending time with friends on social media.

The use of surveys in research studies is beneficial to investigators in various ways. Firstly, the approach is free from various types of errors and bias. Secondly, they are cost-effective and easy for researchers to administer. Investigators can mitigate or avoid geographical dependence through the use of surveys. However, experts relate the approach with different flaws, including potential bias when the respondents are unwilling to participate and reduced reliability when respondents lack awareness on some responses. Thirdly, the authors utilize correlational studies to investigate their research question. In this study design, scholars seek to determine the views of different groups of people on a particular matter. For example, the study uses this approach to assess the effects of social media use between republicans and democrats.

One of the benefits of this design is that it helps researchers to reveal particular relationships between different groups. Secondly, it provides an opportunity to researchers to determine areas that need efforts. Moreover, it offers some of the best results to those investigating a particular phenomenon. However, the approach does not provide information on causes of existing relationship. For example, the authors cannot explain why Democrats’ experiences on social media are better than that of Republicans.

Question Two

From the various charts and graphical representations, the audience can make different conclusions on matters related to optimism and pessimism. One of the conclusion is that in 2004, people were more likely than 2013 to cope up with frustrations in life. The study presents responses of people on the prompt “Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? According to the author’s report, it is evident that the number of pessimists and optimists decreased dramatically in 2004 and 2013. On the contrary, the number of people who are in between optimism and pessimism increased with a big margin. Since pessimists often expect worse results in their various endeavors, they are more likely than optimists to adapt to an environment that is shifting from desirable to undesirable experiences.

Consequently, a reduction in the number of pessimists and optimists implies that a high number of people will be unable to cope up with challenges of the dynamic society. Secondly, a reader can conclude that social media profiles could be used to recognize users’ behaviors and personalities. The study represents survey results on the question “Do you believe your social media profile represents what you are?” The author describes survey results in the diagram below. According to the results, it is clear that most people believe that social-media profiles reflect users’ personalities.

Fig 1.1: shows survey results on people’s view of social media (Gibson and Kharunya part 2)

Thirdly, readers can conclude that people consider some types of activities as means to improve their moods. According to the researcher, prayers have become essential determinants of mood. While most people ate food to adjust their attitudes in 2004, most of the people in 2013 were mediating to intervene about their moods.

Question Three

Lieberman and Morelli set out to investigate people’s reaction when they are looking at other people’s sad or happy images. The researchers set up an experiment in which the participants were supposed to look at good and sad photos. To distract the participants focus on the images, they assigned each of them with eight digits number to memorize. They found reduced empathies in people who were distracted by the number.

On the contrary, volunteers with unrefined brains processed the images quicker than other participants. The authors highlight different psychological and physiological processes that influence emotional reactions. Firstly, they investigated the influence of memory processes expressing empathy. Secondly, cognitive processes affect people’s compassion towards others. Physiologically, distractions prevent people from showing empathy, as they interfere with psychological processes. For this reason, it is apparent that an individual who is engaged in other cognitive tasks cannot express deep sympathy during sad times.

According to Lieberman and Morelli, both physiological and psychological functions have significant implications for empathetic responses. The experiment revealed that although brain processes disturb the level of an individual’s empathic response, other factors may interfere with these operations. From another dimension, both physiological and psychological factors upset persons’ emotional responses but at varying levels. Different parts of the brain may be required to collaborate in performing a particular task. Subsequently, the numbers of mental processes taking place in human’s brain could affect the effectiveness of people’s emotional reactions. The author has utilized these views to support arguments on happiness.

Question Four

Readers should acknowledge Morelli’s quote as it has critical civic implications. Civic engagement relates to individuals’ ability to participate in civic actions including community services and initiatives in order to improve the public sphere. The quote illustrates the author’s understanding of the empathy that is an essential human emotion affecting their conduct in the society. In his quote, the author underscores the importance of focus in promoting civic engagements.

People who lack focus on public concerns may fail to respond per expectations of others. Any type of physiological response makes it difficult for people to meet civic engagement goals. Such a situation occurs due to people’s inability to illustrate empathy when necessary. When in public or with people, it is essential to concentrate on the matter of interests to avoid distractions. In fact, the quote suggests that physiological process can hurt the quality of the responses triggered by psychological processes. More importantly, mitigating disturbances when addressing public concerns can improve the level of happiness in people.

It is important to note the significance of empathy in political situations. When there are tensions within a state, leaders should express compassion and empathy to the affected families. Failure to communicate this emotion could have an adverse impact particularly for a politician, who wants to remain in the political scene for long. Besides, the empathy could determine the nature of public relations that an organization seeks to sustain or build. For this reason, it is apparent that appropriate emotional responses in matters of public concerns are fundamental to good leadership.