The Secret to Happiness: Where Buddhism and Behavioral Economics Meet

Lower Expectations, Higher Happiness

Photo by Kamesh S S on Unsplash
This is what my friend was referring to (but I have no idea how happiness evolves over time!)

If Actual Outcome ≥ Expected Outcome,

Happiness = Actual Outcome - Expected Outcome

And, if Actual Outcome < Expected Outcome,

Happiness = -2 * (Expected Outcome - Actual Outcome)

What this simple example implies is: the lower someone’s expectation is — regardless of the actual outcome of an event — the greater will be her happiness!

Sharing key ideas on Applied Causality, Data Analysis in R, Statistical Literacy, and Happiness | Ph.D. student @UW-Madison| LinkedIn: