Remember when we were kids and had to do algebra? Every kid has once in his/her lifetime asked the question “What’s the use of Algebra?” Some grew up to find the answer, while others – like myself – remained totally confounded… that is until now!
Yes my dear countrymen I have finally found the answer! I have discovered what the real purpose of algebra is!
The purpose is *drum roll* to develop an equation that predicts if we are really happy or not (or how can we be happy)!
The Happiness Equation
I thought my brain or my heart could tell me if I’m happy, but as it turns out I was wrong! Nope, we humans need algebra to tell us whether we are happy.
<ADD EQUATION HERE>
That up there is the equation. Let me break it down for you, the equation says:
Happiness = blah blah blah + yada yada yada + pffffttt…
Okay, so I don’t actually understand what it means, but what the super-genius scientists have concluded (in a nutshell) is that it’s all about expectations. It all boils down to what we expect and how strongly we expect it.
According to Dr. Robb Rutledge, a neuroscientist and lead author of the study that resulted in the equation,“Life is full of expectations. It would be difficult to make good decisions without knowing, for example, which restaurant you like better. It is often said that you will be happier if your expectations are lower. We find that there is some truth to this: lower expectations make it more likely that an outcome will exceed those expectations and have a positive impact on happiness.”
Mr. Rutledge adds that people might feel happy even before an outcome.
He gives an example that “If you have plans to meet a friend at your favorite restaurant, those positive expectations may increase your happiness as soon as you make the plan. The new equation captures these different effects of expectations and allows happiness to be predicted based on the combined effects of many past events.”
That study’s concludes that just thinking about an expectation triggers heightened feelings and that achieving or exceeding expectations results in increased dopamine (the “reward neurotransmitter”) activity, and, finally, higher emotion levels i.e. more happiness!!
In once sentence
So basically, in the end, what this entire, long-winded research is telling us, is that if we get what we expected to get, we will be happy.
We need algebra to tell us that?!!