Happiness and research: looking for a research buddy
Posted December 12, 2008on:
Breakthrough work on happiness
The blogosphere this week has been awash with comments on the article on happiness published by the British Medical Journal on happiness in social networks. What does it mean that happiness is collective? Are we also affected by our friends’ happiness online in networks like Facebook?
Expansive, successful business teams
Getting a lot less press, over at Pos-Psych, Marcial Losada has published two reports about increasing the emotional space in business teams and improving business performance. Losada aims to develop teams whose positive to negative talk falls between 3:1 to 11:1.
New stats and new ways to think about psychological phenomena
The BMJ article relies on network theory and analysis. Losada’s work relies on recursive differential equations. Lost you? Exactly. Few psychologists, and that includes me, studied this type of statistical modelling in their undergraduate years.
Moreover, these aren’t just new statistical techniques that we can plug into SPSS and go. Both techniques offer epistemological and ontological revolutions in the way we think.
The ontological revolution is also happening in the qualitative areas of our field. Take this phrase used by The Economist yesterday to describe India’s democracy: a political system that can cope with disgruntlement without suffering existential doubts.
That is a brilliant definition of happiness, though we might want a little more for flourishing!
I started a wiki laying out the methodologies used by Losada in some detail and I would love a collaborator. If you are interested, please drop me a comment and I will send you its name and password.
We are entering an interesting time in psychology and I can see all the textbooks being rewritten!