Psychology corner: The sadness of a happiness expert

New York Times

I found this article about a happiness expert who took his own life strangely compelling.  I had never heard of Philip Brickman, but as an astrologer whose Mercury (mind) is in Scorpio, I am an avid researcher of the nature of happiness and depression especially as it shows up in the natal chart.  Brickman is apparently best known for this study in which accident victims and lottery winners were compared to see who was happier in their later lives:

The study is straightforward. As the title suggests, the authors surveyed lottery winners and accident victims, plus a control group, hoping to compare their levels of happiness. But what the authors found violated common intuition. The victims, while less happy than the controls, still rated themselves above average in happiness, even though their accidents had recently rendered them all either paraplegic or quadriplegic. And the lottery winners were no happier than the controls, at least in any statistically meaningful sense. If anything, the warp and weft of their everyday lives was a little more threadbare. Talking to friends, hearing jokes, having breakfast — all of these simple pleasures now left them less satisfied than before.  read more here…

 

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Philip Brickman was born August 22, 1943 in Montreal (no birth time available – the chart shown is for noon that day with the Sun on the ascendant).  Depression shows up in different ways in a chart – there is the heavy hopelessness of Saturn, the deep wounds of abandonment with Chiron, the fear and often abusive history of Pluto.  But one often overlooked astrological […]

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