Nancy Etcoff On The Surprising Science Of Happiness
Susan notes: I've copied and pasted this biographical information and talk unabashedly from the TED website.
Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness -- the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it's untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies.
In her book Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff refutes the social origins of beauty, in favor of far more prosaic and evolutionary explanations. Looking for a partner with clear skin? You’re actually checking for parasites. And let’s just say there’s a reason high heels are always in fashion.
Her recent research into the question of happiness exposes results that not only are surprising but reinforce things we should've known all along: like the fact that having flowers in the house really does make us happier. As the instructor of "The Science of Happiness" at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Etcoff is uniquely qualified to solve the mysteries of contentment.