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Beyond The Hedonic Treadmill

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Beyond the Hedonic Treadmill: Revising the Adaptation Theory of Well-Being

This article is on the Hedonic Treadmill theory and what is considered to be wrong with it. According to the Hedonic Treadmill theory, events in people's lives can change their happiness levels for short times, but in the long run people return to a neutral point of happiness. The purpose of this study is to review the Hedonic Treadmill theory, which the psychologist who worked on this paper viewed as flawed, and correct it.

The psychologists who wrote this article hypothesized that there were five main flaws with the hedonic treadmill theory that needed to be revised before the theory could be excepted. These flaws where as follows: first, individuals set points are not hedonically neutral, in other words, people could be more set towards the happy or sad side; second, people have different set points that they go to based on their temperaments; third, one person may have multiple happiness set points; fourth, well being set points can change under certain conditions; and fifth, individuals vary in their reactions to life events, some changing their set points and others remaining neutral.

In order to test these hypothesis, the psychologists who wrote the article reviewed numerous different studies relating to the theory and it's different aspects and then analyzed the conclusions that these studies came to in order to come up with their conclusions for how the theory should be changed. After doing this research, they found that their hypothesis where basically true. The hedonic treadmill theory did need change. They found that people's happiness can change over time based on certain life events, and that people's set points of happiness can change based on factors that are in their life. They also found that they where correct in saying that individuals react differently based on their personalities. For example, some people gained long term happiness when they got married while others only had short term gains and then moved to their hedonically neutral point.

My opinion on the study is that the study is correct. The original theory for the hedonic treadmill was flawed in it's simplicity.

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