Edward Diener, Psychologist Known as Dr. Happiness, Dies at 74

A curious, adventurous teen, he mentioned he as soon as threw a rock at a swarm of bees to see what they might do. As a youngster, he climbed the Golden Gate Bridge and experimented with gunpowder, gasoline and hearth.

His father wished Edward to observe him into farming. But finding out agriculture at Fresno State College (now California State University, Fresno) bored him, and he grew to become fascinated about psychology.

Before graduating in 1968 with a bachelor’s diploma in psychology, he proposed a analysis undertaking exploring the happiness of migrant farm staff, a few of whom he knew from his household’s farm. But his professor rejected the thought, declaring that farm staff as a gaggle have been sad and that there was no technique to measure happiness. So Dr. Diener selected one other topic: conformity.

A conscientious objector in the course of the Vietnam War, Dr. Diener labored as an administrator at a small psychiatric hospital earlier than resuming his research at the University of Washington, the place he earned a Ph.D. in psychology in 1974. He quickly joined the college at the University of Illinois.

As a graduate pupil and a younger professor, Dr. Diener carried out analysis on deindividuation, the lack of self-awareness in teams. He didn’t examine happiness till the early 1980s, a shift that he mentioned was partly influenced by his optimistic mother and father.

“My mother presented me with books such as Norman Vincent Peale’s ‘The Power of Positive Thinking,’ and this piqued my interest,” he mentioned in an autobiographical essay written for the e-book “Journeys in Social Psychology” (2008), edited by Robert Levine, Lynnette Zelezny and Aroldo Rodrigues. “My mother told me that even criticism could be framed in a positive way.”

Dr. Diener developed a number of methods to measure well-being. One of them, the Satisfaction With Life Scale, consists of 5 statements that have been posed to respondents, in small and huge research, like “In most ways my life is close to my ideal” and “The conditions of my life are excellent.” The respondents have been requested to reply every on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).

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