913
Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
2400+ courses starting
in Feb-Mar 2019
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:

VIEW ARCHIVE


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
correlation, scientifically, elections, today, reproduction, body, reduced, feel, different, history, First, increase, contentment, hut, gadgets, spiritual, more, Prozac, material, bother, Mubarak, Europe, biological, average, optimistic, dissatisfied, subside, advertising, Parisian, depression, inside, measure, love, air, typically, monstrous, good, Brave, thresholds, peasants, money, expectations, wealth, models, sadness, orgasm, objective, manipulate, collections, signals, world, pleasure, sarotonin, pleasant, biochemical, lower, hormones, constant, subjective, genes, teenager, storm, mind, dopamine
many theories of happiness base happiness on                  factors like health, diet, and wealth
however, many theories of happiness include social, ethical, and                    factors as well
in recent decades, psychologists, economists, biologists have taken up the challenge of                              studying what makes people happy, and through that, understanding the dynamics of happiness in society throughout history
are people made happy by           ? family relationships? by genetics? by their virtues and          deeds?
if we don't have an exact definition of happiness and a way to                it, then we can't study it scientifically
the definition of happiness
the general definition is:                      well-being
something that I feel inside myself, a sense of immediate                  or a feeling of                        with the way my life is going.
but if happiness is something that people feel              them, it is difficult for scientists to measure it externally
presumably this can be done by asking a large number of people to tell them how they         
a typical well-being questionnaire asks people to answer on a scale from 1 to 5 from disagree to agree, many statements which ask them how they feel about issues, questions such as:
I feel that life is rewarding.
I feel                      about the future.
these questionnaires are used to study the relationship between subjective well-being and other kinds of factors like             , political situation, or social situation
with these questionnaires, you can conclude that there is a positive, negative, or no                        between e.g. wealth and subjective well-being
of course, the          people you observe, the more accurate your results are
these tests can be used to determine if any factor has a correlation: people in democracies vs. other political systems, married/divorced, single/married
the most important finding of these tests is that happiness does not depend so much on                    conditions, but rather, happiness depends above all on the correlation between expectations and conditions
i.e. you are happy not because your objective situation is x, but you are happy because your                         , whatever they are, are getting fulfilled
this means that even dramatic changes in object conditions throughout history did not necessarily change the degree of happiness of the people affected by them
in fact, these studies over the years have revealed that as conditions improve, expectations increase, and that even dramatic improvements in objective conditions can leave us                          and unhappy
when conditions deteriorate, then the expectations of people are often               , they expect less, and so their chance of being happy can even                 
this implies that people in the Middle Ages were not necessarily less happy than people living today
it's true that they had much more difficult living conditions than we have, but their expectations were also very                    than ours today
the problem is that when we think about the conditions of the Middle Ages, we think how we must have felt, not how they must have felt
in modern affluent societies around the world, it is customary for people to take a shower and change their clothes everyday
Medieval                 , on the other hand, went without washing, sometimes for many weeks and months, and hardly ever changed their clothes since they didn't have many clothes
for us just thinking about living like that makes us imagine that we would be unhappy living under those conditions
but Medieval peasants didn't seem to          it that much, they were used to the smell of a dirty shirt and a dirty body, it's not that they wanted to take a shower everyday and change their clothes everyday and couldn't, so we can't conclude that they lived miserable lives or were unhappy because of these conditions
if your expectations are to have a shower everyday and you don't get one, then your happiness is reduced
however, small children even in affluent societies                    don't like showering, and continue to not like it until it becomes a daily expectation
if happiness is determined by the difference between your present condition and your expectations, then mass media and                        as a whole may be working to ensure, not necessarily on purpose, that you won't become happier even if there are improvements in your condition
mass media and advertising continually expose us to better and better things, increasing our expectations, and thereby making less likely an increase in our happiness
a medieval                  only knew the other 50 men in his village
the other males were much older or small kids, so he felt he looked pretty good
a teenager            is far more likely to feel that he doesn't look good enough
exposed everyday to movie stars, athletes, super             
it could be argued that the self image of people today is            today than in the past
even the discontent we see today in the Third World is caused not merely by poverty and disease, but by their exposure to the standards of the            World
Egpyt
the average Egyptian enjoyed better material conditions under Hosni                than any previous ruler
much less likely to die of starvation, plague or war
you would have thought that the Egyptians would be much happier than they were under his rule
but they were not happy, and staged a revolution saying they were not satisfied with their living conditions, even though their living conditions had never been better
the reason is that they were comparing themselves not to their ancestors in Egypt but to the rest of the           
the Egyptians don't expect to live like people in the Middle Ages and than are happy because their conditions are better, instead, they expect to live like people they see on television in America,              and the rest of the world
the                      approach to happiness
research of biologists: our mental world is governed by biochemical mechanisms shaped by millions of years of evolution
happiness is determined by an internal biological system of nerves, neurons and synapses and and various biochemical substances such as serotonin and                  and oxytocin
these and a mix of other chemicals control our joy and               
according to biologists, nobody is made happy by winning the lottery, or by buying a house, or by getting a promotion at work, or what they describe as true         
according to biologists, people are made happy by one thing and one thing only:                  sensations in the         
a person who has just won the lottery or has just realized that he has met the love of his life, is reacting to a mix of                  that are now flowing through his bloodstream, and various electric                flashing between different parts of their brain
unfortunately, our internal biochemical system is programmed by evolution to keep happiness levels relatively                 
happiness and misery play a role in evolution only to the extent that they encourage survival and                         
and so evolution has shaped us to be neither too miserable nor too happy, and so our biochemical systems enable us to enjoy momentary rushes of pleasant sensations, but these tend to never last long
sooner or later, the rush of hormones and the electrical signals in the mind change, the pleasant sensations subside and are replaced by less pleasant sensations
sex and             
evolution provides feelings of orgasm to organisms who have sexual intercourse in order to increase the chances that they will spread their            with fertile members of the opposite sex
if sexual intercourse were not accompanied by pleasant sensations in the body, few males would              having it
at the same time, evolution is not really interested in making these males happier, it is only interested in making them pass their genes onto the next generation, so it tempts them with these pleasant feelings, but these pleasant feelings quickly               
over the long run, our biochemical systems will not allow our feelings of happiness or misery to go beyond certain                     
an analogy might be an       -conditioning system that keeps the temperature constant no matter what happens externally
events might temporarily change the temperature, but the system will eventually return the temperature to a constant               
air conditioning systems are set at different temperatures, just as the biochemical systems of different people are not the same
some people are biochemically cheerful, some biochemically gloomy
we often think that if some external event happened, we would be happier
yet when we get what we desire, we tend to not be happier than before over the long-term since it does not change our biochemical system
if we accept that happiness is caused by hormones and into by external events, then it turns out that                is not very important to explain human happiness
historical events have very little impact on the human                        system
compare a Medieval French peasant to a modern                  banker
the peasant lives in unheated mud        looking upon the local pig sty
the banker goes home to a splendid penthouse with all the latest technological                with a wonderful view
these mens' happiness are determined by their brains, and their brains are happy because of the levels of serotonin, dopamine and other chemicals present in the body
when the peasant completed building his tiny mud hut, his body secrete                   
when the banker makes the last payment on his penthouse, his body also secretes sarotonin
this logic is applicable to not only individuals but to                        of individuals
even the French Revolution did not change the basic structure of brain chemistry of the French brain
despite all the political and social upheavals, it's impact on French happiness was very small
in the long run, common people were on the whole just as happy or not happy as their biological makeup and common everyday activities made them out to be
biologists would not have encouraged you to            the Bastille because it would not make you happier
according to the biological view, there is only one historical event that was significant in the development of human happiness: the ability to                      our biochemistry
if we invest billions of dollars to find out what chemicals exactly make people happy, then we can, on the whole, make human beings far happier than they ever were before
             increases your happiness by raising in an artificial way the serotonin levels in your bloodstream which does manage to lift some people out of their                     
the New Age slogan "Happiness begins within" reflects this approach
social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses do not matter, true happiness can only come from within yourself, from higher levels of serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin in your blood stream
Aldous Huxley envisioned this world in            New World, with psychiatric drugs which replaced the police,                   , and governments
each day every person in the world takes a dose of soma, a synthetic drug that makes people satisfied with their lives without harming their productivity and efficiency
the world state governs the whole globe and is never threatened by wars, revolutions, strikes, or demonstrations because all people in the world are content and satisfied with their current conditions no matter what these conditions are, since the system is built on controlling and manipulating biochemistry inside us and not the conditions outside us, and if you do this right, no matter what is outside, it doesn't really matter
Huxley's world seems                    to most people who read it but it is very hard to explain why, after all in his world everyone in the world is happy all the time, so what could be wrong with it?

Vocabulary:

serotonin, n. [ser-i-TOHN-in] a neurotransmitter primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, platelets (cellular element in blood), and the central nervous system of animals, including humans, and is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness  "Research on the association between various polymorphisms and depression supports the idea that serotonin plays a role, not only in the treatment of depression but also in susceptibility to depression and suicide."
dopamine, n. [DOH-pah-meen] a neurotransmitter i n the brain which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior  "Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity."
oxytocin, n. [ahk-see-TOH-sin] a mammalian hormone produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, playing an important role in the neuroanatomy of intimacy, specifically in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth, fascilitating birth and maternal bonding  "Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as "the bonding hormone"."

Spelling Corrections:

questionairequestionnaire
monsterousmonstrous

Flashcards:

what three chemicals are known today to affect happiness and feelings of well-being
serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?