• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Happiness

Definition

When psychologists use the term happiness, they tend to mean one of two things. In the narrow sense, happiness is a specific emotion that people feel when good things happen. It includes feelings of pleasantness along with moderate levels of arousal. In addition, the emotion often co-occurs with a specific facial expression: the smile. Happiness can be distinguished both from negative emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger and also from other positive emotions such as affection, excitement, and interest. People from around the world tend to have a similar concept for happiness and can recognize happiness in others. As a result, the emotion of happiness is often included as one of a small number of basic emotions that cannot be broken down into more ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles