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Prof. Pam Propsom Discusses 'The Pursuit of Happiness' with TV Station

February 18, 2008

pam propsom wxin.jpgFebruary 18, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - A television report examining "the science of happiness" -- which aired this evening on Indianapolis FOX News affiliate WXIN -- focuses notes that Video Link [Download Video: "Pursuing Happiness" - 2202kb] "DePauw University professor Pam Propsom explored this issue of positive psych in a freshman seminar she called 'The Pursuit of Happiness.' Propsom says the research she shared with students indicates there are some set factors involved in being happy, like personality," reports Kate Williams. "Extroverts, or people who are outgoing, tend to be happier, while introverts and highly anxious people tend to be less happy."

Dr. Propsom, professor of psychology at DePauw, tells the TV station -- as a rule -- wealth does not make people happier. "We have this pursuit and the idea that if I just had this much 82 Happy Grads.jpgmoney or I had these things, then I would be happy.  And the research tends to show that the relationship between money and happiness isn't that strong; that once you kind of attain a basic level above poverty, more and more money doesn't really add much to happiness, and instead people who focus on money as a source of happiness generally are less happy," Propsom says. (at right: happy graduates of DePauw's Class of 1982)

The professor also points to some other keys to happiness. Video Link [Download Video: "More from Dr. Propsom" - 880kb] "Rather than rehashing all the negatives in the past and focusing on bad events, happy people are oftentimes a little biased toward, 'I'm just going to think about the good things and I'm gonna try to put the bad things behind me and focus on the good.'"

chelsea Gartner wxin.jpgDePauw sophomore Chelsea L. Gartner, who took Professor Propsom's class, Video Link [Download Video: "Chelsea Gartner" - 1231kb] "says she came away from it knowing much more about herself," reports Williams. Gartner tells the FOX affiliate the course "made me think about what will make me happy, like what makes me happy more than just, 'Oh I'm just gonna go lay down for awhile and relax and I'll be happier then.'"  Gartner says she learned to focus on "what I should do for myself, and for others."

Propsom tells the television station that the course had an even greater impact on another student. Video Link [Download Video: "Life-Changing" - 855kb] "The course suggested that she focus on external things -- getting out, meeting people -- and she said it changed her life, and she's so much happier now."

Visit WXIN/FOX 59 online.

Source: WXIN (FOX)/Indianapolis

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