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What makes people happy? Nina Guido • ARS 329 Design Research • Spring 2019


Introduction Happiness is a topic that is incessantly explored. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and even economists have long sought to define the term and have tried to find methods to measure happiness. Through extensive research methods, new ways of understanding the topic of happiness emerge, however, one question that is worth exploring is “What makes people happy?�. Happiness affects almost every individual around the world due to the fact that every individual experiences emotions and emotions are the driving force of human behaviors. It has a grasp on what we all think and do. There is also a constant need for individuals to feel happy or to feel fulfilled in life. By researching this topic as a designer, I will gain a better understanding of how people think and what their values are in life. This particular question interests me due to the fact that everyone has different life experiences that impact their view on what makes them happy. In addition to that thought, every individual experiences happiness in disparate ways in their lives whether it be mentally, physically, and emotionally. Happiness is a topic that difficult to define and never ceases to be explored and has many ways of being viewed by different people from around the world. Every individual has a different understanding of what he/she would like to get out of life and what purpose they serve. In addition, by exploring emotions as a designer, I can gain knowledge that will assist me in understanding an array of individuals thoughts and calculate a census on what the majority of people believe in a given group. The ability to understand others is very important in the practice of design and will help develop a stronger understanding of empathy for others as well.


Annotated Bibliography Flora, Carlin. “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Psychology Today, 9 Jan. 2009, www.psychologytoday.com/us/ articles/200901/the-pursuit-happiness. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019. This particular popular article proves that my topic is useful because it provides insight on well-being and the constant pursuit that many individuals have for happiness. In the article, the author provides inferences and findings from several psychologists and individuals who have studied the subject with psychological and neuroscience perspectives. With these included in the article, it elucidates that there has been in depth/ on going research on the topic of happiness. Emotions are a natural part of the human and biological makeup, which means we have all experienced happiness/ other emotions that impact what we do/how we feel on a daily basis. Also, this article targets happiness practices and how the brain works, giving an in depth spectrum of what makes us happy. This article gives insight on what happiness includes such as pain, relationships, and adapting. Mineo, Liz. “Good Genes Are Nice, but Joy Is Better.” The Harvard Gazette, 11 Apr. 2017, news.harvard. edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-ahealthy-and-happy-life/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019. This source is related to the academic findings in an 80 year long Harvard study on happiness and how to live a healthy life. Happiness holds a very important role in our lives because our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health. Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. This study gives true insight on the major role that happiness plays in everyone’s lives and overall well being as well as the factors that influence happiness. This article is worth exploring and taking information from because it follows the entire lives of 268 participants (who were all men) and gives surprising findings that include the change of what the participants first thought would bring them happiness and what actually brought them happiness in their lives. There were no ways to anticipate what the individuals would experience in their lives making this study a unique way to find a true trends in happiness factors and what people value given different situations. This particular study gives my research a reference point to use as to what factors could influence happiness in people’s lives and see how they compare to this study. There are no other studies like this one, making it a completely unique source to pull information and findings from. Myers, David G. The Pursuit of Happiness. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1992. This particular source touches upon the bases of well-being, satisfied mind, the demography of happiness, and the idea of the “flow chart” that is applied to the flow of activities. These are all of interest to my research and aid in my exploration because these topics are all contributing factors of happiness. Most interestingly, the role that religion plays in people’s happiness is explored in this source and taps into an activity that is a major part of individuals lives. The author also digs into the psychology behind the topic of happiness and provides ideas of what enables happiness and talks about the mistaken factors that individuals once thought enabled happiness. Like the other sources, this book talks about happiness on an individual and interactive level. There is a trend showing that relationships have a stronghold on happiness. Overall, this book could serve as a helpful source when targeting the psychological reasons behind my research.


Tamir, Maya et al. “The Secret to Happiness: Feeling Good or Feeling Right ?” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol. 146, 2017, pp. 1448–1459. This academic article is full of insight on the topic of happiness in regards to the emotional experiences that people should pursue to optimize happiness. This is a new way of looking at the term “happiness” in which it turns into an experience. Happiness is defined in the first paragraph as “a state of well-being and contentment” and that it is “the salient of human pursuits” proving it to be an important factor to the lives of human beings and placing importance on its role in lives. This topic is most certainly meaningful to the world due to the fact that every individual experiences emotions (natural and biological phenomenon). This article allows me to look at happiness not only for exploring what is valuable to individuals but how happiness is experienced by people. The study brings up desired and experienced emotions which brings forth the idea that to be happy, it does not mean avoiding conflict or other emotions that come about in everyday life. This article ties into the other ideas within my other sources as well, but is analyzed on a deeper level. One major point that stood out was “Consistent with Aristotle’s claims, our investigation suggests that people are happier when they experience emotions they desire, whether such emotions are pleasant or unpleasant. To the extent that people desire emotions that are consistent with their values, this suggests that happiness entails feeling emotions that are valued, as determined by the unique personal, social, and cultural context of each individual.” Yau, Nathan. “What Makes People the Most Happy.” FlowingData, 21 June 2018, flowingdata. com/2018/06/21/what-makes-people-the-most-happy/. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. I explored data on what makes people happy and this particular result struck me. This particular data breaks down what makes people by analyzing participants 10 happy moments in their lives. By using (basic) natural language processing, the author parsed out the main subject, verb, and object of each happy moment. The author extracted patterns in all these moments and began with looking at the most used subjects, verbs, and objects. This gives an entirely new spin on analyzing what makes people happy by directly analyzing the patterns of what people say in the survey. The author breaks down the subjects that range from “I”, “We” , “friend”, “wife/husband”, “son/daughter”, “dog/cat”, “boss”, “team”, “someone”. Overall, this way of breaking down the structure of sentences in order to find a pattern in what brings people happiness is unique and unexpected. Just by looking at the data, I can see that most sentences have the individual interacting with another being, which points to the importance of relationships on people’s happiness and values people have (also the levels of happiness once again spanning from individual and social).


OTHER SOURCES USED: Gorman, Sara, and Jack Gorman. “What Really Makes People Happy?” Psychology Today, 14 Apr. 2018,www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/denying-the-grave/201804/what-really-makes-people-happy. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019. This article is an additional source I have found that will assist me in viewing happiness related to college students in a certain age bracket. Since I will be surveying college students, this source could be helpful in understanding what affects students. This article goes to show that happiness is a topic that spans across all ages and demographics. In particular this article talks about “...skills and behaviors that will help young people deal with serious stressors and setbacks later on” which is also a major topic in other sources I have chosen (the skills needed to be happy in life and deal with stressors that set individuals back from happiness). This will be a helpful guide in possibly understanding the college demographic and the impacts on their happiness as I research. Layard, Richard. Happiness. The Penguin Press, 2005. This book written by Richard Layard gives a new perspective on happiness from an economist’s perspective, which could aid me in opening a new way of looking at the sources of happiness. The sections that had caught my eye were the introductory chapters and the conclusion which explores why happiness matters and the sources of happiness. Leading in, the book talks about the “Hedonic Treadmill” which is stated in other sources and states that we are in a constant state of searching and looking for happiness (it is an endless cycle) and another concept of the several dimensions of feeling. Overall, this book could be an extra reference point for my research of needed. Lyubomirsky, Sonja et al. “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?.” Psychological Bulletin, vol. 131, 2005, pp 803-855. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019. This academic article leads my research to a new “twist”. This “twist” would be the question “Does happiness lead to success?”. The study states in the first sentence “Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health.” A new exploration point was created for me to think about the correlation of success and happiness. In the study the results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success, which could aid me in understanding my research outcomes or occurrences during the process. This goes to show that there are many aspects of happiness that affects our lives and several variables that can be used as evidence. Parker-Pope, Tara. “How to Be Happy.” The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/guides/well/ how-to-be-happy. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. This New York Times article approaches the topic of happiness in an intriguing manner by discussing changes in behaviors that can promote happiness as well as the factors that affect happiness. This particle article was of interest to me because it separates “How to Be Happy” into subcategories that range from mind, home, relationships, work and money, and life. This alludes to the point that there are different factors and levels that start on an individual level to a more social level. It is interesting to see what the article suggests that people do to increase happiness and activities that contribute to happiness and points to what values individuals hold close to happiness.


Survey Questions with Raw Results & what the data says and what it means

Question 1: Please indicate your gender identity _ agender _ female _ gender-fluid _ gender-queer _ male _ non-binary _ transman _ transwoman _ other: ____________________ N#: 20 Results: A total of 20 individuals answered this question. Out of the 20 participants, 25% (5 individuals) were male, 75% were female (15 individuals), and no participant chose any other options. What the data says: Data from question number one on the survey reveals that there was more females than males taking this survey. There were no other genders stated in this survey. What the data Means: The art field is known to be more female saturated so it would make sense statistically that there would be 75% female and only 25% male taking this survey. Another reason for this outcome would be because more females were attracted to this particular topic compared to males. This means that the answers of this survey may be guided by a more female lens. The data does not reflect persons from other genders as well.


Question 2: Please indicate your ethnicity/ies (select as many as apply) _ African _ Asian _ European _ Latino _ Middle Eastern / North African _ Native American / Native Alaskan _ Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander _ other: ____________________ N#: 20 Results: A total of 20 individuals answered this question. Out of the 20, 70% European (14 individuals) 10% were Asian (2 individuals), 5% were Latino (1 individual), 5% (1 individual) were European/Latino (1 individual), 5% were European/Asian (1 individual), and 5% (1 individual) were European/ Native American/Native Alaskan (1 individual). What the data says: There is a majority of European participants taking this survey. The second most saturated ethnicity is Asian, then Latino and then mixed races which are European/Latino, European/Asian , and were European/ Native American/Native Alaskan. What the data means: The graphic design program is diverse, yet heavily saturated by individuals from European descent. It may be possible that cultural norms affect who is attracted to the topic and the values of particular cultures may be more or less inclined to understanding what enables their happiness. Each individual identifies as a different ethnicity and has different backgrounds that influence answers. Different cultures value and prioritize subjects differently, so since this survey is saturated by European ethnicity, answers will possibly more strongly reflect the values of those from European backgrounds and their values.


Question 3: Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 to the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom is the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at the time? N#: 20 Results: A total of 20 individuals answered this question. Out of the 20 who answered, 0% stated 0, 0% stated 1, 5% (1 individual) stated 2, 5% (1 individual) stated 3, 10% (2 individuals) stated 4, 25% (5 individuals) stated 5, 20% (4 individuals) stated 6, 25% (5 individuals) stated 7, 10% (2 individuals) stated 8, 0% stated 9, and 0% stated 10. What the data says: The data says that a majority of participants self evaluation of their current state of life falls in the middle of the Cantril scale while few range above or below the half way mark. The distribution is almost a bell curve shape which shows a distribution in which the majority of participants chose an answer in the middle of the scale while others either rated above the halfway mark or rated below the halfway mark. What the data means: When taking the survey, participants (11 individuals) who chose 5 and 6 on the ladder, are neither thriving nor suffering and rate present life moderately. They are either struggling in the present, or expect to struggle in the future. The Cantril scale presents a self evaluation of Participants present life situation versus anticipated life situation. Those who chose above a 5 and 6 (7 individuals) on the ladder are considered to be wellbeing that is strong, consistent, and progressing. These participants have positive views of their present life situation and have positive views of the future. Those who fall below a 5 on the scale (4 individuals), are considered to be struggling with their current wellbeing and living situation that is not meeting their needs. These particular individuals tend to have poor ratings of their current life situation and doubtful views of the future based on the Cantril Scale readings. This means that a majority of participants, who are students at this university, were moderately happy when taking this survey, but their are a few outliers who are struggling with their happiness. This reading seems to be an interesting showing of how students are handling this particular stage or transition of their lives in college.


Question 4: Tell me what makes you happy and please describe how ‘happy’ feels for you: physically, mentally, and emotionally. N#: 20 Results: 1. My niece and nephew make me happy, animals make me happy, my bed makes me happy, and the outdoors on nice days. Happy is like a warm feeling and when you just feel light. 2. I am happy when I am with my love one such as friends, family, or other half. I am happy when I relax and do what want like play video game watch videos. When I am happy I physically feel lighter, my heart rate pump faster but not strained and my chest feel lifted. Mentally, I think about how happy I am and enjoy the moment and not think about the tomorrows and I think about the people that were there to enjoy it with me. Emotionally, it is pretty simple just happy because there will be no other emotion mix in with it and it will be pure happy. 3. Being with people I care about, doing fun activities, making work I’m proud of, and eating delicious food makes me happy. Happy feels like emotional stability and balance. Physically being rested and exercising. 4. Being organized, not stressed, bills payed, worry free, having time for my family and friends. Happy is not having any weights on my shoulders, happy is feeling confident and comfortable in the way you live your life. Mentally and emotionally stable, god can’t wait for that day. 5. Physically - I’d say I feel better after I got for a run Mentally - After having a good day and not over thinking every little thing at the end of it, just knowing that it was a good day makes me happy. Emotionally - I’m not the most emotional personal but when I make others happy or feel positive that makes me fee happy I guess 6. Overall uplifted and positively view all situations 7. Things that make me happy consists of good times, accomplishments, low stress or workload, getting to go outside, or having a night out with friends. Happy physically makes me feel lighter, mentally stronger and clear-headed, and emotionally stabled and gratified 8. Having a very close & small group of friends I can depend on, especially those who let me express myself without judgment -Independence, both monetarily and from restricting situations and people Health -Being with animals Happiness to me feels like freedom, it feels energized, and it feels like when I have the confidence and drive to face any challenge head on. 9. My family and close friends make me happy, my dogs make me SO happy, and music is another huge aspect that makes me happy; mentally and emotionally.


10. I am happy about how my current relationships with family and friends are, mentally and emotionally. Right now, I have a bunch of good things going for me in life. I don’t feel like I have a lot to complain about. I have good friends and a good life, I feel pretty content. 11. I feel physically happy after working out and exercising because I feel like my body is performing its best and improving my strength. Mentally I feel happy when I don’t have tests/homework/money stress on my mind. Emotionally I am happy when I am around people that care about me because I know I am loved. Also I’m overwhelmingly happy around animals. 12. For me happiness is more a mental state of feeling content rather than a singular emotion. What makes me truly happy is being creative and telling stories with my art. As well as spending time with my close friends is also what really makes me happy. Happiness also means to me that I am in a state of peace, and not letting the world around me, effect my mood 13. My family helping them or hanging out with them Watching funny videos Hanging out my close friend and making stupid jokes Making someone laugh or feel better Reading a good book 14. Yoga, running, seeing good friends and my significant other, cooking, feeling confident, getting good grades, reading, being in good physical health. Happy to me means not worried. 15. A unification of all three concepts. Happiness is simply a balance of all the variables around you and a sense of harmony. 16. Happy for me is when I feel confident in myself, but it has to be physically, mentally, and emotionally confident. Art and music are therapeutic for me when I’m in a bad place and can easily make me happy. Physically, it’d be going for a run, mentally it’d be being in a good state with anxiety and depression, same with emotionally. 17. What makes me happy- nature, art, free time, being able to just sit back and relax. Physically- I feel happy when I eat healthy, exercise, don’t feel any physical pain while walking/running or doing daily activities. Mentally-when my mind isn’t on constant overdrive and I don’t feel “stuck” Emotionally-when I don’t feel “Stuck” 18. I am happy when I feel a low stress level and am around family & people I love. I am also happy when I have something to do that I enjoy. Happiness to me is feeling satisfied and enjoying your life in general with minimal worries and stressors. 19. I feel happy when I am surrounded by individuals who I consider my family or friends. I feel happy when I am not stressed, and my work for the day is done. I feel happy when I am not suffering from anxiety. Or when I see a cute animal or baby. Art makes me happy, both looking at or making it. Happy for me is a physical, mental, and emotional experience. My body does not ache when I am happy, and my stomach doesn’t hurt. Happiness is without ailment for me. Mentally I am clear of stress or anxiety. And emotionally, happiness is when it is the overwhelming feeling I am experiencing.


20. Friend/family gatherings, projects accomplished, sunshine, fresh air, exercise. What the data says: After looking for common themes mentioned within each text response, I discovered that words that were used could be separated into categories which include “beings” or living things, mental and emotional states, and things that people do. For instance the words “family” “friends” “people” “animal” and “I’m” are all living things that are used many times in the responses. “Art” “exercise” “make” and “don’t” are all words of that require doing or not doing and are once again frequently used in the responses. Lastly, “feel/ feeling”,“confident”, “mental”, “emotional”, “good”, “stress” “close” and “happiness” were used to describe emotional and mental states of happiness. What this data means: This means that having close relationships with living things such as friends, family, animals are the most influential on participants happiness. Participants also find happiness in doing activities such as creative and physical activities which include art, exercise and relaxing when they do not have assignments. Typically the word “make” was used to describe how something was making the participant happy (such as animals or people). The words “emotionally” and “mentally” were used to describe when participants were confident in themselves and their work, had low stress (assignments and work finished), and having “good” times or days. Overall, participants state that they are happy when they are around other people (or animals), do not experience anxiety and feel a sense of ”balance” or stability within their lives.


Question 5: Rank the following factors in order of which one influences your happiness the most with 1 being the most influential. Please drag and arrange the items below. Family/Friends/Partners, Environment/living situation, Financial standing, Personal Hobbies, Health, Spirituality, and other (fill in). N#: 20 Results: For rank #1, 65% (13 individuals) ranked Family/Friends/Partners, 10% (2 individuals) ranked Environment/living situation, 5% (1 individual) Career/job, 5% (1 individual) Financial standing, 5% (1 individual) Personal Hobbies, 5% (1 individual) Health and 5% (1 individual) Other (and filled in “school”) and 0% (0 individuals) chose Spirituality. For rank #2, 30% (6 individuals) chose Career, 25% ( 5 individuals) Personal Hobbies, 20% (4 individuals) chose Health, 15% (3 individuals) chose Family/Friends/Partners, 5% (1 individual) chose Financial Standing, 5% (1 individual) chose Other ( and filled in “dogs”) and 0% (0 individuals) chose Spirituality. For rank #3, 20% (4 individuals) chose Personal Hobbies, 20% (4 individuals) chose Career, 15% (3 individuals) chose Financial Standing, 15% (3 individuals) chose Health, 15% (3 individuals) chose Environment, 5% (1individual)chose Family/Friends/Partners, 5% (1 individual) chose other (and filled in “school”) and 0% (0 individuals) chose Spirituality. For rank #4, 25% (5 individuals) chose Personal Hobbies, 20% (4 individuals), 15% (3 individuals) chose Health, 15% (3 individuals) chose Financial Standing, 15% (3 individuals) chose Career/Job, 5% (1 individual) chose Family/Friends/ Partner, 5% (1 individual) chose Other (and filled in “politics”) and 0% (0 individuals) chose Spirituality. For rank #5, 40% (8 individuals) chose Financial Standing, 25% (5 individuals) chose Health, 20% (4 individuals) chose Career/Job, 5% (1 individual) chose Family/Friends/Partners, 5% chose Environment, 5% (1 individual) chose Other (and filled in “personal time”), and 0% chose Spirituality or Personal Hobbies. For rank #6, 30% (6 individuals) chose Environment, 20% (4 individuals) chose Personal Hobbies, 20% (4 individuals) chose Financial Standing, 15% (3 individuals) chose Health, 5% (1 individual) chose Spirituality, 0% (0 individuals) chose Family/Friends/ Partner and 0% (0 individuals) chose Other. For rank #7, 65% (13 individuals) chose Spirituality, 15% (3 individuals) chose Environment, 5% (1 individuals) chose Health, 5% (1 individuals) chose Personal Hobbies, 10% (2 individuals) chose Other (and filled in “News and world affairs” and the other individual left the slot blank ) and 0% (0 individuals) chose Family/Friends/ Partner, Financial Standing, or Career. For rank # 8, 30% (6 individuals) chose Spirituality, 5% (1 individuals) chose Health, 5%(1 individual) chose Environment, and 65% (13 individuals) chose Other (and filled in “pleasure”, and the other 12 individuals left the slot blank). What the data says: The data provided above states that friends, family, and partners were ranked number one as the most influential factor to their happiness and career/job was ranked the second most influential


factor to their happiness. Both personal hobbies and career/job were tied for ranking number 3 by participants. Personal hobbies was ranked number 4, financial standing ranked 5, and environment ranked as number 6. Lastly, religious activities were ranked 7 while other was ranked number 8. What the data means: This data elucidates that relationships with people such as family, friends, and partners influences participants happiness the most. There is a strong need for individuals to have a support system. Career and personal hobbies are also an imperative factor to the happiness of participants. Careers are influential due to the fact that a job extends far beyond the salary attached to it. The non-monetary aspects of employment are also key drivers of people’s wellbeing. Social status, social relations, daily structure, and goals all exert a strong influence on people’s happiness. Where as personal hobbies allow participants to engage in activities for pleasure or relaxation which supports healthy well being. Surprisingly, finances is a factor that does not hold the utmost importance in swaying happiness and religion is not a factor that seems that hold a strong influence over participants happiness either. Psychological positivity from family and others provides individuals with a true sense of purpose and belonging which is more meaningful than the short term excitement from money. Religion may not be influential to participants because the participants who took this survey may not be religious, or that the practice itself does not influence happiness, but rather the relationships it cultivates provides happiness (which is the connection or support from other people). In other words, religion or religious activities in this study was suggestive of only the practice of the religion, not the relationships it may cultivate.


Question 6: How satisfied are you with each of these factors in your life? N#: 20 Results: For the option that stated “Health” 15% ( 3 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 10% (2 individuals) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 40% (8 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 20% (4 individuals) stated “Extremely satisfied”. For the option that stated “Career” 0% ( 0 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 40% (8 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 45% (9 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 0% (0 individuals) stated “Extremely satisfied”. For the option that stated “Finances” 25% ( 5 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 25% (5 individuals) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 35% (7 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 0% (0 individuals) stated “Extremely satisfied”. For the option that stated “Family/friends” 0% ( 0 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 5% (1 individual) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 5% (1 individual) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 45% (9 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 45% (9 individuals) stated “Extremely satisfied”. For the option that stated “Spirituality” 0% ( 0 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 10% (2 individuals) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 65% (13 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 10 % (2 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 10% (2 individuals) stated “Extremely satisfied”. For the option that stated “Leisure Time” 15% ( 3 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 35% (7 individuals) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 5% (1 individual) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 40% (8 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 5% (1 individual) stated “Extremely satisfied”. For the option that stated “Love/Relationship” 15% ( 3 individuals) stated extremely dissatisfied, 30% (6 individuals) stated “Somewhat dissatisfied”, 20% (4 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor dissatisfied”, 10% (2 individuals) stated “Somewhat satisfied”, 25% (5 individuals) stated “Extremely satisfied”.

What the data says: The data says that a majority of participants are overall satisfied with their relationships with family/ friends. The trends shows that participants are somewhat satisfied with their career and health. However, satisfaction with leisure time lies between somewhat dissatisfied and somewhat satisfied, but more participants fall on the end of being dissatisfied with leisure time. In the middle in which participants are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied lies the topics spirituality, career, and finances. The numbers


say participants are somewhat dissatisfied with their love and relationship and finances which is also a factor that falls on the spectrum of extremely dissatisfied. What the data means: This particular data elucidates that most participants are content with their family and friend relationships, while they are not so satisfied with their financial state or leisure time. This is understandable due to the fact that participants of this study are college students who have the stress of paying for college and supporting themselves as young adults and have the responsibility of completing many time consuming assignments. The outcome for love and relationships leans a bit more towards dissatisfaction which may be because some individuals do not have a relationship or are having struggles with the relationship that they are currently engaged in. Based on how satisfied a person is with particular factors of their life can correlate with what they value as well. In this specific chart, participants seem to value and prioritize relationships over finances, health, and spirituality. This is a stage of life in which support from other individuals is the most important and a stage in which the most important relationships are formed so it would make sense that relationships are imperative to participants happiness.


Question 7: Rank the following on what you feel you value the most in your life, 1 being the most important by writing 1,2,3... (using each number only once) N#: 18 Results: ***Note: One participant had to be excluded from this data due to the fact that this individual did not answer the question in the proper format. For rank 1#, 0% (0 individuals) placed communication, 0% (0 individuals) placed learning, 5.5% (1 individual) placed safety, 27.7 % (5 individuals) placed creativity, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed freedom, 5.5% (1 individual) placed intimacy, 27.7% (5 individuals) placed connection to others, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed other and filled in “mental health” and “mental/physical health”. For rank #2, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed communication, 0% (0 individuals) placed learning, 27.7% (5 individuals) placed safety, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed creativity, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed freedom, 5.5% (1 individual) placed intimacy, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed connection to others, 0% (0 individuals) placed other. For rank #3, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed communication, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed learning, 27.7% (5 individual) placed safety, 27.7% (5 individuals) placed creativity, 5.5% (1 individuals) placed freedom, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed intimacy, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed connection to others, 5.5% (1 individuals) placed other and filled in “music”. For rank #4, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed communication, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed learning, 5.5% (1 individual) placed safety, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed creativity, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed freedom, 16.6% (3 individual) placed intimacy, 11.1% (2 individual) placed connection to others, 0% (0 individuals) placed other. For rank #5, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed communication, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed learning, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed safety, 5.5% (1 individual) placed creativity, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed freedom, 11.1% (2 individual) placed intimacy, 11.1% (2 individual) placed connection to others, 0% (0 individuals) placed other. For rank #6, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed communication, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed learning, 5.5% (1 individual) placed safety, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed creativity, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed freedom, 22.2% (4 individual) placed intimacy, 16.6% (3 individual) placed connection to others, 0% (0 individuals) placed other. For rank #7, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed communication, 16.6% (3 individuals) placed learning, 22.2% (4 individual) placed safety, 0% (0 individuals) placed creativity, 5.5% (1 individuals) placed freedom, 22.2% (4 individuals) placed intimacy, 0% (0 individuals) placed connection to others, 11.1% (2 individuals) placed other and filled in “sleep” and “environment/surroundings/where I live”.


For rank #8, 0% (0 individuals) placed communication, 11% (2 individuals) placed learning, 5.5% (1 individual) placed safety, 0% (0 individuals) placed creativity, 5.5% (1 individual) placed freedom, 5.5% (1 individual) placed intimacy, 0% (0 individuals) placed connection to others, 0% (0 individuals) placed other. For rank #9, 0% (0 individuals) placed communication, 5.5% (1 individual) placed learning, 0% (0 individuals) placed safety, 0% (0 individuals) placed creativity, 0% (0 individuals) placed freedom, 0% (0 individual) placed intimacy, 0% (0 individuals) placed connection to others, 5.5% (1 individual) placed other and filled in “alone time�. What the data says: Based on trend in the data, the numbers state that a majority of participants rank creativity and connection to others as being the top ( or #1) items they most value in their lives. Safety is valued as number 2 within the top priorities and is ranked repeatedly in ranks 5 and 7. Freedom is then ranked number four along with communication. Communication is also ranked in the number 6 spot with intimacy. Learning is a factor that is ranked quite low in positions 8 and 9. What the data means: This means that creativity and relationships are imperative to the happiness of individuals and are highly valued by the participants who took part in this research. Support and expressing inner emotions through creativity and connection to others enable individuals overall happiness. Safety is a value that is also of high importance because being safe ensures wellness and allows people to continue to live and preform daily tasks. Surprisingly, participants filled in and placed in high ranking positions mental and physical health which hone in on valuing personal wellbeing and can be connected in some way to safety. Without caring about mental and physical health, an individual cannot perform daily tasks or live a sustainable life. Freedom is also a factor that contributes to creativity which makes sense why it would be ranked top four. Communication is a factor that seems to be a factor that is not as important than creativity, connection to others, or safety, but, more important than intimacy and learning. This means that direct verbal communication may not be as influential to happiness as the emotional draw that connectivity provides. Learning may be ranked lower in this scale of values because the factors such as creativity, connection to others and safety are parts that actually enable or allow individuals to learn and grow, so without those being prioritized first, it is more difficult to learn. Values reflect the needs of people and in this case intimacy was placed low in the ranking. This may indicate that intimacy is not necessarily a subject that participants feel that they need in order to reach a state of happiness. Intimacy typically revolves around relationships with a partner so it may be of lower importance because it is possible that participants are not currently in a relationship or are struggling in their relationship.


Question 8: Please indicate your answer to the following statements: “I lead a purposeful and meaningful life”, “I have energy to accomplish daily tasks”, “I have plenty of spare time”, Life is full of learning experiences that allow me to grow”, “People in my life care about me”, “I can rely on the people I am connected to” and “I am confident in my choices”. N#: 20 Results: For the option that stated “I lead a purposeful and meaningful life” 5% ( 1 individual) stated strongly disagree, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Somewhat agree”, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 45% (9 individuals) stated somewhat agree, 20% (4 individuals) stated strongly agree. For the option “I have energy to accomplish daily tasks” 5% ( 1 individual) stated strongly disagree, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Somewhat disagree”, 20% (4 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 50% (10 individuals) stated somewhat agree, 10% (2 individuals) stated strongly agree. For the option “I have plenty of spare time” 40% ( 8 individuals) stated strongly disagree, 20% (4 individuals) stated “Somewhat disagree”, 10% (2 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 30% (6 individuals) stated somewhat agree, 0% (0 individuals) stated strongly agree. For the option “Life is full of learning experiences that allow me to grow” 0% ( 0 individuals) stated strongly disagree, 0% (0 individuals) stated “Somewhat disagree”, 5% (1 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 50% (10 individuals) stated somewhat agree, 45% (9 individuals) stated strongly agree. For the option “People in my life care about me” 0% (0 individuals) stated strongly disagree, 0% (0 individuals) stated “Somewhat disagree”, 5% (1 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 50% (10 individuals) stated somewhat agree and 45% (9 individuals) stated strongly agree. For the option “I can rely on the people i am connected to” 0% ( 0 individuals ) stated strongly disagree, 0% (0 individuals) stated “Somewhat disagree”, 10% (2 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 60% (12 individuals) stated somewhat agree, 30% (6 individuals) stated strongly agree. Finally, For the option “I am confident in my choices” 5% ( 1 individual) stated strongly disagree, 20% (4 individuals) stated “Somewhat disagree”, 15% (3 individuals) stated “Neither agree nor disagree”, 50% (10 individuals) stated somewhat agree,10% (2 individuals) stated strongly agree. What the data says: The data shows a trend for each statement provided in the question. A majority of participants some-


what agree that they “lead a purposeful and meaningful life” and “have energy to accomplish daily tasks”. For the next statement, many participants strongly disagree that they “have plenty of spare time”. In regards to the statements that say “life is full of learning experiences that allow me to grow” and “people in my life care about me”, the trend shows that most participants either somewhat agree or strongly agree with this particular aspect. Next, the trend for the statement “I can rely on people I am connected to” shows that a majority of participants somewhat agree with this statement and falls near the spectrum of being a statement that participants can agree with. Lastly, for the statement “I am confident in my choices”, the trend shows that a majority of participants somewhat agree, however there are a clear span of answers for this statement that range from strongly disagree to strongly agree. What the data means: This data revolves around the wellbeing of the participants and elucidates that a majority of participants believe that life is about learning and growing as an individual and that they feel loved by others in their lives. Based on the trends, participants also say that they can agree that they can rely on people they are connected to which is a big piece to an individuals well being and being able to trust a group of people and not feel isolated or lonely. The confidence level of the participants was fairly good in regards that most say they can somewhat agree that they are confident in the choices they make. Confidence allows a person to feel secure with their choices which is also reinforced by those around who support them and their choices. In other words, relationships to others and confidence are related. The biggest struggle for participants is spare time which affects time to do activities they would like to do. Overall, participants most strongly believe that the ups and downs of life present opportunities for development and that they are valued by others but struggle most with perceived lack of spare time.


Question 9: Divide 100 Points among the following depending on how often you verbalize your feelings with the following: Colleagues, Friends, Family, Partner N#:19 Results: Each participant divided the 100 points among the four options and an average was calculated for each category (Friends, Family, Colleagues and Partner), the average calculated for family was 39.9% , the average for friends was 30%, the average for partner was 21.32%, and the average for colleagues was 8.74%. Participant 1:

Participant 2:

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What the data says: The data says that a majority of participants most often verbalize their feelings with their family, while friends are a close second. Out of the average, the trend shows that partners come in third when verbalizing feelings while participants least verbalize their feelings with their colleagues. What the data means: This data means that the participants feel more comfortable sharing feelings with their family and friends which shows a stronger sense of trust in these particular individuals. Sharing feelings is a sensitive topic and makes individuals feel vulnerable at times. The least common tendency for participants is verbalizing feelings to Colleagues. This means participants do not hold the same trust for colleagues as they do their family members or friends who typically are long lasting relationships while colleague relationships are only viable through the work environment. On the other hand, participants show that they verbalize their feelings to partners as third, which could mean some participants do not have partners, or that they feel they can more easily verbalize feelings to their families and friends without judgment.


Question 10: I am able to focus on the present moment and not and do not get distracted by thoughts of the past or future. N#: 20 Results: A total of 20 individuals answered this question. Out of the 20, 15% (3 individuals) stated “I never feel this way”, 30% (6 individuals) stated “I rarely feel this way”, 30% ( 6 individuals) stated “I sometimes feel this way”, 25% (5 individuals) stated “I often feel this way” and 0% stated “I always feel this way”. What the data says: The data says that a majority of participants feel that they sometimes or rarely feel this way. A close second is that participants always feel this way. Only a few participants never feel this way. This says most participants feel as if they are not able to focus on the present moment and struggle with balancing mindfulness. What the data means: This data elucidates that most participants struggle with mindfulness and being in the present moment. This means that most participants, who are students, are worried about the future and past decisions instead of what is happening at the moment. This is understandable because students are in a new stage of life where they have the worries of getting a career and the pressures of supporting themselves as an adult without their parents help. Only a select few take the opportunity to focus on the present. This data creates a relationship with survey question 8 which evaluates wellbeing. A majority of people struggle with having spare time, which means that participants have difficulty taking time for themselves and to reflect on the present moment. This stage of life as a college student is busy and fast paced with little down time which makes it difficult for students to spend time thinking about the present moment and not about future assignments or projects.


Question 11: I am grateful for the opportunities I have encountered in life N#: 20 Results: A total of 20 individuals answered this question. Out of the 20, 0% stated “I never feel this way”, 0% stated “I rarely feel this way”, 35% (7 individuals) stated “I sometimes feel this way”, 30% (6 individuals) stated “I often feel this way” and 35% (7 individuals) stated “I always feel this way”. What the data says: The data for question eleven says that a majority of participants believe that they always or sometimes feel this way with some participants trailing behind saying that they often feel that they are grateful for the opportunities they have encountered in their lives. None of the participants stated that they rarely or never felt this way. What the data means: The data for this questions means that participants feel as if they are grateful for the opportunities in their lives and have a strong sense of gratitude for the opportunities that come around. This data creates a relationship with survey question 8 which evaluates wellbeing. Those who feel that life is about learning and growing as well as having people who are supportive enables the feeling of gratitude.


Survey Questions with Visualized Data Question 1: Please indicate your gender identity _ agender _ female _ gender-fluid _ gender-queer _ male _ non-binary _ transman _ transwoman _ other: ____________________

Female Male

For question one, I utilized iconography to put shape to my data. Iconography is very easy for users to read and understand. Putting a human shape to the numbers, allows for anyone to understand the identities of individuals who participated and how many there were.


Question 2: Please indicate your ethnicity/ies (select as many as apply) _ African _ Asian _ European _ Latino _ Middle Eastern / North African _ Native American / Native Alaskan _ Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander _ other: ____________________

For question two, I utilized a donut chart in order to capture the demographic scope of who had taken my survey.


Question 3: Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 to the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom is the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at the time?

For question three, I utilized a lollipop chart. The lollipop chart is similar to a bar chart, making it easy to read and indicate values. I decided to go with the lollipop chart because the bars reminded me of the image of the rungs of a ladder and play off of my question asked. Overall, this chart is easy to understand for any user.


Question 4: Tell me what makes you happy and please describe how ‘happy’ feels for you: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

For question four, I utilized a word cloud. A word cloud was the most sensible way to condense lengthy responses into words that were most used. This way, only certain words were highlighted and created an overall theme of what makes people happy and how they experience it. It is a perfect way to simplify complex written responses into an easy to read format. I also separated words into color groups: red signifies beings, orange signifies mental and emotional states, and yellow signifies actions or things people do.


Question 5: Rank the following factors in order of which one influences your happiness the most with 1 being the most influential. Please drag and arrange the items below.

For question ďŹ ve, I decided to used size, color, and space to show my data. There are clear categories and clear trends shown through this type of visualization. I utilized iconography to make the chart a bit more lively and energetic and to enhance the story being told.


Question 6: How satisfied are you with each of these factors in your life?

For question six, I decided to use a table. My original question format in the survey was a matrix table, so I thought it would be a good choice to reect upon that format due to the fact that the matrix table was difďŹ cult to put into a visual form. The table shows clear trends within each category and is a neat display of the data.


Question 7: Rank the following on what you feel you value the most in your life, 1 being the most important by writing 1,2,3... (using each number only once)

I decided to use a different approach for this ranking question. Since factors were repeated and chosen for multiple ranks, color and space was important to utilize to show a clear trend. This method used is constructed like building blocks and each factor is color coded with the rank placed beside it.


Question 8: Please indicate your answer to the following statements:

For question eight, I decided to use another table. My original question format in the survey was a matrix table, and to clearly show a trend in the data I chose to use sizing of bubbles to indicate how many people chose a particular choice. The table shows clear trends within each category and is a neat display of the data.


Question 9: Divide 100 Points among the following depending on how often you verbalize your feelings with the following:

For question nine, I decided to use a pie chart. The question states to use 100 points, so I averaged and rounded all of the answers out amongst Colleagues, Family, Friends, and Partners in order to create a pie chart that added to 100%. This allows for an easy to read trend and how often individuals verbalize their feelings to the given categories of people.


Question 10: I am able to focus on the present moment and not and do not get distracted by thoughts of the past or future.

Question 11: I am grateful for the opportunities I have encountered in life

For question ten and eleven, I used a stacked bar chart. Both questions had the same answer choices, so I decided to use that to compare both of the sets of data for each. Question ten focuses on individuals capability of being in the present moment while question eleven focuses on gratitude. Through the stacked bar chart, the viewer can get a glimpse on how the participants feel about these particular aspects and visually compare them with the size of the bars and their colors.


The story the data reveals Connections with family, friends, partners and even animals provides people with the most joy, meaning that relationships are the leading factor of the happiness. When experiencing this happiness mentally, physically and emotionally, individuals indicate feeling a sense of balance and stability in which they are confident without stress and anxiety. Activities which include exercise and creativity are the factors which enable the sensations of happiness. Overall satisfaction with factors of life are also influential to happiness. If an individual reports being satisfied with a particular factor, this indicates the needs of individual are being fulfilled in that aspect of life. Through this research it is apparent that individuals are most satisfied with their relationships with friends and family, while they are most dissatisfied with finances and leisure time. Although people report being dissatisfied with their finances, it is indicated to be one of the least influential factors of happiness along with religion. The component of satisfaction is also relative to values and wellbeing. Values as well as a wellbeing are the building blocks to how happiness is sought out and experienced. For instance, creativity, connection to others, safety and freedom are the top core values reported that individuals hold. These affect how life is lived and how a persons needs are met which is also connected to the overall wellbeing of people. Individuals report feeling that they have purpose, energy, confidence and that they can rely on a support system. The feeling of being supported and healthy mentally, emotionally and physical all enable contentment and a positive way of viewing life. However, people report struggling with mindfulness practices such as focusing on the present moment and it is also apparent that individuals struggle with perceived lack of time which affects overall wellbeing and happiness levels. Despite these struggles, individuals report having a high sense of gratitude which assists in propelling the sensations of joy. Overall, the take away from this research is that relationships and creativity are major elements in people’s happiness.


Method #2: Game Board Question: What do individuals value that enables happiness? “show me what makes you happy” This particular methodology gave insight to the values held by participants and will also allowed me to directly observation of how the factors given are physically placed on the chart. The placement and arrangement of items show a clear rank of the values held by individuals as well as how much each factor affects the participants happiness overall. Participants have to think deeply about how to prioritize the given images as well as their connection to each. This particular method illustrates a vivid story to create data that will allow me to understand the complex topic. Particular trends and patterns appear in this method which will lead to a better understanding of what sways their happiness which will be complementary to the questions asked in the survey. For the second method, sixteen observations were recorded. In this method, I created a large circular diagram that was sized at 17 inches by 30 inches as a cultural probe. In the center of this diagram was the word “me” that represented the individual using the diagram. There were 4 different shades of circular levels radiating around the center, each representing a different level of importance. The closer inner rings near the circular indicate a high level of importance, while the outer levels indicate low level of importance. Tones of teal color were used within the Levels to create a sense of tranquility and to create an inviting experience. Images that represent friends, family, freedom, health, partners, spirituality/religion, spare time, food, animals, environment, hobbies, creativity, work, and giving to others were all printed and cut in the same sized bubbles and placed on a cardboard background to create a chip that the participant could easily slide on the chart created. Images were chosen to create an inclusive experience for all participants and allowed participants to choose what images best represented themselves or their lives. All images were placed in the same starting positions at the beginning of each participants trial. Each participant was asked to physically place and arrange the images within the leveled circles around the center as well as place a chip indicating preferred gender and ethnicity/ies in a section on the bottom of the page. After, a photo was taken of the placement of items to record data.


Game Board:


Pieces:

Row 1: Family, Friends, Spare time, Work Row 2: Money, Creativity, Health, Environment Row 3: Food, Hobbies, Freedom, Giving to others.



Method 2: Raw Results Participant 1: Gender: Male Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Relationship (heterosexual) Friends Spare time Creativity Level 1.5: None Level 2: Hobbies Food Work Religion (Atheist) Level 2.5: None Level 3: Giving to others Freedom Religion (Buddhism) Level 3.5: None Level 4: Money Health Environment Level 4.5: None Outside: Family Do not have pet


Participant 2: Gender: Female Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Giving to others Family Creativity Freedom Level 1.5: None Level 2: Health Animal (dog) Environment Friends Food Hobbies Work Level 2.5: None Level 3: Spare time Money Level 3.5: None Level 4: Religion (Christianity) Not in relationship Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 3: Gender: Female Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Relationship (heterosexual) Level 1.5: Animal (cat) Friends Family Creativity Level 2: None Level 2.5: Money Spare time Giving to others Level 3: Environment Food Health Freedom Level 3.5: Work Hobbies Level 4: None Level 4.5: Religion (Christianity) Outside: None


Participant 4: Gender: Male Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Animals (cat & dog) Hobbies Creativity Friends Family Level 1.5: None Level 2: Spare time Freedom Level 2.5: None Level 3: Environment Giving to others Food Relationship (Not in relationship) Money Health Level 3.5: None Level 4: Work Level 4.5: None Outside: Religion (Christianity)


Participant 5: Gender: Female Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Animals (Dog & hamster) Relationship Family Giving to others Level 1.5: Food Level 2: Creativity Friends Health Hobbies Level 2.5: None Level 3: Environment Freedom Spare time Level 3.5 : Money Level 4: None Level 4.5: Work Outside: Religion (agnostic)


Participant 6: Gender: Male Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Family Creativity Health Level 1.5: Giving to others Freedom Level 2: None Level 2.5: Environment Friends Hobbies Food Level 3: None Level 3.5: Animal (dog) Money Level 4: None Level 4.5: Work Outside: Spare time Religion (agnostic) Relationship (Not in relationship)


Participant 7: Gender: Male Ethnicity/ies: European/Asian/Native American/Native Alaskan Level 1: Family Giving to others Level 1.5: Spare time Relationship (heterosexual) Creativity Level 2: Work Environment Level 2.5: Friends Freedom Animal (dog) Hobbies Level 3: None Level 3.5: Animal (bird) Health Food Level 4: None Level 4.5: Money Outside: Religion (agnostic)


Participant 8: Gender: Female Ethnicity/ies: Latino Level 1: Creativity Friends Money Level 1.5: Work Family Spare time Level 2: Animal (dog) Health Food Level 2.5 : Hobbies Environment Level 3: Not in relationship Level 3.5: Freedom Giving to others Level 4: Religion (Christianity) Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 9: Gender: Female Ethnicity/ies: European and Asian Level 1: Relationship (Heterosexual) Friends Freedom Level 1.5 : Hobbies Level 2: Environment Creativity Spare time Friends Food Health Work Level 2.5: None Level 3: Giving to others Money Level 3.5: None Level 4: Religion (atheist) Animal (I don’t have a pet) Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 10: Gender: Male Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Family Level 1.5: Relationship (not in relationship) Health Food Level 2: Freedom Money Work Creativity Level 2.5: Friends Level 3: Hobbies Spare time Giving to others Environment Level 3.5: Animal (cat) Level 4: Religion (agnostic) Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 11: Gender: Female Ethnicity/ies: Latino Level 1: Animal (lizard) Spare time Level 2: Family Creativity Giving to others Friends Environment Level 3: Hobbies Food Money Health Freedom Level 4: Religion (Christianity) Work Relationship (not in relationship) Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 12: Gender: Male Ethnicity/ies: European Level 1: Family Friends Environment Health Hobbies Creativity Level 1.5: None Level 2: Freedom Work Food Spare time Animal (cat) Giving to others Money Level 2.5: None Level 3: Relationship (not in a relationship) Level 3.5: None Level 4: Religion (Agnostic) Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 13: Female European Level 1: Animal (horse) Hobbies Environment Freedom Friends Level 1.5: Creativity Money Food Family Health Animal (cat/dog) Level 2: Relationship (not in relationship) Level 2.5: Spare time Work Giving to others Level 3: Religion (atheist) Level 3.5: None Level 4: None Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 14: Male Native Hawaiian/Pacific islander Level 1: Relationship (male gay) Level 1.5: Creativity Level 2: Giving to others Level 2.5: Spare time Level 3: Friends Level 3.5: Freedom Work

Level 4: Hobbies Level 4.5: Family Money Outside: Animal (no pet) Food Environment Health Religion (agnostic)


Participant 15: Male European Level 1: Animal (cat) Freedom Spare time Creativity Hobbies Level 1.5: None Level 2: Food Friends Level 2.5: Family Money Level 3: Environment Relationship (not in relationship) Level 3.5: None Level 4: Religion (atheist) Work Giving to others Health Level 4.5: None Outside: None


Participant 16 Male Asian Level 1: Creativity Family Level 1.5: Freedom Spare time Friends Level 2: Hobbies Health Animal (do not have a pet) Relationship (not in relationship) Food Level 2.5: None Level 3: Environment Work Money Religion(Buddhism/ Taoism) Level 3.5: Giving to others Level 4: None Level 4.5 : None Outside: none


Method 2: Visualized Data Question 1: Please indicate your gender identity _ agender _ female _ gender-fluid _ gender-queer _ male _ non-binary _ transman _ transwoman _ other: ____________________ N=16

Question 2: Please indicate your ethnicity/ies (select as many as apply) _ African _ Asian _ European _ Latino _ Middle Eastern / North African _ Native American / Native Alaskan _ Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander _ other: ____________________ N= 16

I decided to repeat the visualizations from my ďŹ rst method in order for users to understand the data almost instantly in regards to what the information pertained to. The use of iconography is always easy to read and personiďŹ es data while the donut chart allows for a simple representation of the different ethnicities of each individual who participated.


Show me what makes you happy Please place items within the given circles. The closer you place items to the center the more important and the farther away the least important

I decided to utilize a stacked bar chart to show the trends within each layer and to elucidate which factors were the most important to the individuals who participated in this method. I made level one the color yellow and placed the bar height in a descending order so users could easily distinguish which factors were of the absolute most importance to participants. This way it is easy for users to understand which factors were most frequently placed in each layer and they can see trends based on color and size of the bars.


Statement of Results The data collected in method two reveals that the first most important factor in the happiness of individuals is creativity. This item was placed in level 1 by 8 out of the 16 individuals who participated, meaning that 50% of people believe creativity is imperative to their overall happiness. Since students from a graphic design program were the ones taking this method, it is a rational outcome that creativity would be of high importance and enable happiness for participants. The second most important factor of happiness, which was placed in level 1 by 7 people, was family. Animals were the third most popular choice after family. Following animals, the factors friends, relationship, and freedom were all placed in level 1 a total of 5 times each. The items that represented hobbies and spare time were the seventh and eighth most popular items placed in level 1which hold a greater importance than the next factor which was giving to others. After this are the factors health, environment, and money. Interestingly, the third to last factor indicated was food. Then, the second to last factor was work which was typically of greater in importance to happiness than religion, which was placed last on importance the majority of the time.

I placed all of the outcomes of method 2 into a spread sheet and applied conditional formatting to it in order to highlight the trends of which factors were most popular in each level. The color works like a spectrum; the more saturated the green is, the higher number of occurrences of that particular factor. It becomes clear to see that creativity and family were most frequently placed in level one by participants. Level one factors are placed in descending order so I could easily see what factors where most important to individuals.


Method 2:

Conclusions & Story the Data shows The overall trend or story that emerges from method 2 is that people prioritize creativity and their relationships the most over any other option presented in this method. In other words, creativity as well as connection to others such as family, animals, and friends are all factors that are valuable and important to happiness. It is apparent that there is a need for people to be connected to other beings that surround them and that these particular beings make up a support system for individuals in their lives. Contrary to what many people would expect, money and religion are indicated to be factors that are least influential to happiness and coincide with the findings from the first method. In between the most influential and the least influential factors lie hobbies, sparetime and giving to others. This simply shows that recreational or extracarricular activities are secondary to creativity and connection to others (although creativity may be involved in some of the extracarriculars or hobbies). Health and environment follow these extracurriculars which indicates that surorundings and overall health are also not as salient as the two main influences of happiness. Also, core values that were presented in the answers of question 7 of survey in method one are also reflected in the outcome of method two in which people hold strong values in creativity, connection to others and freedom. Values that people hold identify who they are and assist in guiding people in life because they give structure to how people think and act. Therefore, values promote how individuals find their happiness. Therefore, individuals indicate valuing creativity and their relationships with others the most, making these factors the most influential to their happiness.


Conclusion The survey along with the game board allowed me to evaluate what participants value and particular factors affect their overall happiness as well as what makes people happy. The survey was a collection of quantitative data where I could see trends in percentages and numbers, where as the game board allowed me to observe how participants prioritized factors directly on the board I designed. The data gathered through these two methods indicates that relationships and creativity are the biggest contributors to an individual’s happiness. Secondary research as well as my survey has shown that people gain a sense of belonging through connections with others. By having a strong sense of belonging, they can trust another person with their feelings as well as feel valued. This allows individuals to build a greater sense of purpose in life as well as to learn and grow from life experiences. Additionally, creative thinking and activities allow individuals to express and process inner emotions and ideas. Although struggles exist with time and money, the strong relationship between connectivity and creativity make life joyous and worthwhile. If I were to design a conventional project based on research to solve my question I would want to create an interactive experience for users through an application. It would be interesting to design an application that could track the pattern of happiness of individual. This app could have components that apply to gratitude, well being, mindfulness practices, core values and daily routines that could help users with positive thinking. It would also allow researchers (such as myself) to see trends as to how people deal with stress and what factors of their lives make them happiest. This application would not only serve the purpose for research, but serve as a tool to help others. Some surprises that I encountered while conducting these methods was that money was not a popular factor that participants believe influences their happiness. I was expecting participants to place finances in the top 4 influences of their happiness. I was also surprised that religion was another factor that was least influential. I was not quite sure what to expect for this particular aspect, but it was consistently shown as not being imperative to happiness. If anything could be done differently in this research, I would have used only two ranking questions in my survey. It was difficult to visualize more than two ranking questions through data vitalization to show a clear trend. Some factors were repeated for certain rankings (ex: in question #7 of my survey, safety was ranked 2, 5, and 7) and made it a bit difficult to visualize the trends in disparate ways. I also would’ve gathered more sources that discussed the happiness of students due to the fact that these methods were limited to the graphic design program students. I also would have had other individuals from other majors take these methods to get a more broad spectrum of answers.


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