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75 Years In The Making: Harvard's Epic Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life

Stashed in: #happiness, #love, #success, #kindness, Relationships, @ifindkarma, Awesome, Harvard, Happiness, Love, Happiness, Relationships, XY

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"The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup." 

 “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love.  Full stop.”

I didn't need to spend 20 million dollars to know that.

In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the Grant Study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love.  Full stop.” 

Yes, but...

One of the most intriguing discoveries of the Grant Study was how significant men’s relationships with their mothers are in determining their well-being in life.

For instance, Business Insider writes:

“Men who had ‘warm’ childhood relationships with their mothers took home $87,000 more per year than men whose mothers were uncaring.  Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old.  Late in their professional lives, the men’s boyhood relationships with their mothers — but not their fathers — were associated with effectiveness at work.  On the other hand, warm childhood relations with fathers correlated with lower rates of adult anxiety, greater enjoyment on vacations, and increased ‘life satisfaction’ at age 75 — whereas the warmth of childhood relationships with mothers had no significant bearing on life satisfaction at 75.”

keep cuddling your children!  it's good for us all!

Emily, yes. If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that kindness matters.

ESPECIALLY to children. Cuddle them!

I have a dream that one day all children will grow up with the love that they need.

I think that will make the world a more wonderful place.

yes. that would be amazing. i like to think we're headed there.

It does seem like the longer we live, the more the world realizes how important children are.

and the more we realize we're still children inside, with the same need for love and affection.

That's profound: We are still children inside. I have to think about that.

Hasn't the field of psychoanalysis always recognized this?

probably. but aren't things more profound when they comes from your own experience, rather than someone else's analysis?

Yes, by many magnitudes of profundity!  :)

It is way too easy to lose touch with that inner child.

Any idea why this was on the page?

Nope, i started this movie but could never finish. Slept twice! 

Okay, whew, I thought there was something wrong with me.

Well, at the end of the 2 minute trailer the narrator's voice says, 

"Unless you love, life will flash by"

Terence Malick made $30 million in coming up with that voiceover in a couple years, while it took Harvard spending $25 million and 75 years to get somewhere near that simple point.

And more people have likely already watched the movie than will ever have read the study.

Winner: Malick

Plus Malick is art, and Harvard is (social) science. Art triumphs over science when it comes to love.

There's a correlation between warmth of relationships and health / success:

In Triumphs of Experience, Vaillant raises a number of factors more often than others, but the one he refers to most often is the powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and your health and happiness in your later years.  In 2009, Vaillant’s insistance on the importance of this part of the data was challenged, so Vaillant returned to the data to be sure the finding merited such important focus.  Not only did Vaillant discover that his focus on warm relationships was warranted, he placed even more importance on this factor than he had previously.  Vallant notes that the 58 men who scored highest on the measurements of “warm relationships” (WR) earned an average of $141,000 a year more during their peak salaries (between ages 55-60) than the 31 men who scored the lowest in WR.  The high WR scorers were also 3-times more likely to have professional success worthy of inclusion in Who’s Who.

Note that correlation is not causation.

Should I state the obvious ? I have to question selection bias

In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history.  

My take away is you make a lot of money if you went to Harvard regardless of you intelligence.  :-)

Sure there's selection bias, but there can still be some truth in the study as well.

Yeah, there can be bias, you are right. One other way to think of that is: all of them were ment to make money (because all were Harvard) and some made more than others, experienced more happiness than others, were healthier than others. So, the circumstances why that happened is what matters, right? 

For those 268 men it matters, sort of maybe.

Self reported studies are dubious.   Self report studies for samples that are already biased are worse. 

The data I would like to see is does the other half of warm relationship agree.  :-) this demographic is tough and as it ages I bet self reflection actually becomes more difficult.  Nobody would believe a study conducted on eulogies.

It's easier to say this is anecdotal than that it is science.

Anecdotally, love matters. We all know that.

I missed data about women too. All that we've been through plus all the changes on society. That would've been amazing to see in a research that lasted that long. :( 

Damn it I have to stop doing that. I wrote out this long post and lost it. 

Long story but bullet points. 

Life changes fast. In my life at 40 would look good, 40 three months horrible, 41 great 45 unbelievably great 

No intermittent survey can handle that reality. 

Also what happens to a quantitative model as variables go to zero?

I am still pushing for a redefinition of the psycho economic behavior models. 

Happiness not happiness(depression) is a dynamic continuum that is impossible to quantitatively model. 

It may be possibly to model clarity of mind. 

I posit that clarity equals happiness and irrespective of traditional factors income, relationships, culture, status, health.  

If you can model clarity I believe it accounts for 99.999% of variability. 

I also say that traditional factors if they are a focus, decrease clarity. 

Yeah Juliana... of course it makes sense that men who are married after age 70 are happier! They need someone to cook them soft foods and change their diapers. But are their WIVES happier?!??!

Cooking soft foods for babies and changing their diapers makes parents happen.

Maybe it makes whoever takes care of old men happy too.

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