Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Happiest College Students
The first reference question of the day was, "is there a list of the colleges with the happiest students?" This led us to the Princeton Review's list of "Top 10 Schools With the Happiest Students." If you click on the link, you will see that Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington has the happiest students. Just a guess here about the reason for their happiness, but just saying "Whitman in Walla Walla, Washington" five times rapidly kind of makes me giggle. But seriously, the study of happiness is big business these days. By now, many people have heard about the survey of countries which found that Denmark is the happiest nation. Sixty Minutes interviewed a bunch of Danish experts about that and the consensus seemed to be that Danes don't expect much of life, hence they aren't too disappointed by it. Hmm, that sounds kinda gloomy, doesn't it? So just how scientific can these happiness studies be? Searching the BHPL catalog for the subject term "happiness" produces 44 titles. The newest is The How of Happiness: a scientific approach to getting the life you want, by Sonja Lyubomirsky, who claims that people can change 40% of their happiness by doing various things she describes in the book. The remaining 60% of happiness is kind of pre-determined or beyond one's control, is the gist of the theory, I think. The book is pretty serious looking and I'm happy I don't have to read it word for word, but please check it out yourselves. The call number is New Non-Fiction 158 LYU. 158 must be the Dewey Decimal number for happiness if you want to browse for more on the topic. Remember the Charles Schultz book, Happiness is a Warm Puppy? It's only 72 pages and it will probably make you smile even more than saying "Walla Walla Washington" five times rapidly.