A Statistical Evidence on How Happiness Alters in Different Stages of Life According to the Hamburger Model of Happiness

Khachon Somwong
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The science of happiness has been an interesting research topic over the past decades. Chief among others is the hamburger model of happiness proposed by Tal Ben-Shahar which portrays four different types of people who deal with pain and pleasure differently: hedonism (live for the present enjoyment), rat race (live for the future), nihilism (live in the past sorrow), and happiness (live with a well-balanced goal). The objectives of this quantitative study are twofold. First, it aimed to provide statistical support for the theoretical perspective of the model. Second, it developed a questionnaire to survey how people in different educational backgrounds: school students, university students, and professionals, perceive the four types of happiness. Thus, an online survey using the 5-Likert scale with 151 respondents was carried out. A correlational analysis revealed statistical support for the model that there were negative correlations between rat racers and hedonists, and between happiness and nihilists, while positive correlations between rat racing and happiness, and between hedonism and nihilism, existed. In addition, descriptive statistics showed that the respondents across the three educational backgrounds are prone to hold the stance of happiness, followed by rat race, hedonism and nihilism, respectively. Last but not least, it is interesting to see that the level of rat race (lives with no pain no gain motto) becomes more intensified statistically when they are in a profession, whereas, this is the lowest among student respondents. This study therefore recommends the use of this model to explore how people perceive happiness by offering additional evidence to its validity from a statistical perspective and suggests the usefulness of the model in explaining how happiness alters in different stages of life.

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To cite this article:

Somwong, K. (2021). A statistical evidence on how happiness alters in different stages of life according to the hamburger model of happiness. The Eurasia Proceedings of Health, Environment and Life Sciences (EPHELS), 1, 46-51.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.55549/ephels.8


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