What Psychology is Saying About “Happiness”

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 11.20.51 AMAs I have mentioned before, I am in the midst of writing and fine-tuning psychology courses for high school students at Enlightium Academy. In the textbook, Psychology in Modules, Dr. David Myers (who does confess to be being an evangelical Christian) and Dr. Nathan DeWall write that happiness, like most things, is genetically influenced. However, something being genetically influenced rather than genetically determined is very different (this is a very important point in relation to the nature-nurture debate around being gay). Following this statement, they then provide the following list of 11 “research-based suggestions” for improving happiness-levels and one’s overall satisfaction with life (which bears a loose similarity with Aristotle’s eudaimonia).

  1. Realize that enduring happiness may not come from financial success (486).
  2. Take control of your life (486).
  3. Act happy (486).
  4. Seek work and leisure that engage your skills (486).
  5. Buy shared experiences rather than things (486).
  6. Join the “movement” movement (exercise; 486).
  7. Give your body the sleep it wants (487).
  8. Give priority to close relationships (487).
  9. Focus beyond self (487).
  10. Counts your blessings and record your gratitude (487).
  11. Nurture your spiritual self (487).

I found this list refreshing because in a sense, you could say that the social sciences are providing scientific evidence for what God has revealed about the human person so long ago. And, at least for Christians, this should not be surprising. With the doctrine of God as Creator at the heart of our faith, all of reality should reflect His nature and wisdom (as revealed in the Bible as well as other places) because everything was created by Him and through Him (John 3:3 “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being…) .


Published by B.J. Condrey, PhD

Dr. Condrey holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Missouri-KC, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in Ethics & Practical Theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is ACSI certified. Dr. Condrey writes courses and teaches Psychology, Bible, and C.S. Lewis at Enlightium Academy, where he began working in 2016. He has served as a youth, young adult, and small group pastor in the local church, and currently teaches Ethics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has a book published by Wipf & Stock (Breaking Ground) along with other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, traveling, trout fishing, family hikes, and drinking coffee! He is passionate about helping young people construct a biblical worldview so that their faith involves both the mind and heart. He has been married since 2009 and has two children.

2 thoughts on “What Psychology is Saying About “Happiness”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: