Happiness Science: Evidence-based guidance for the universal human quest

  • 19-Oct-2022
  • Virtual Event

Happiness Science: Evidence-based guidance for the universal human quest

Date: October 19, 2022

Times: 12:00PM-3:30 PM Eastern

Website: http://cbt.ca/topics/happiness-science/

Speaker: Greg Dubord, MD

Accreditation: 9.0 Mainpro+ Credits

Workshop overview 

Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life
the whole aim and end of human existence.



The pursuit of happiness has long been considered an "art". But today, the universal human quest can also be guided by a substantial science. Each year, over 1,000 academic papers are published in the compelling field of “positive psychology”. 


The Happiness Science (HapSci) module begins with a short discussion of definitions and measurements. We then review the leading misconceptions about happiness, many of which are very widespread and very pernicious.


Our journey then arrives at the influential tome known as the "Un-DSM”, an 800 page, 3.49 pound ganglion-popper. We conclude our introduction with a survey of select World Happiness Reports. In addition to ranking countries, the influential United Nations publication includes some fascinating special features.


We continue to the core of Happiness Science: a lively exploration of over a dozen happiness-critical topics. As always, we prioritize the proven and practical:

  • Awe is now backed by a significant (dare we say awesome?) literature. How do we define that “expansive” emotion, how do we enhance it, and what are its spillover impacts? 
  • Career decisions are profound for our young, but how do we guide them? Here we explore the influential Ikigai model.
  • Experiences make us happier than material possessions—or so goes the common wisdom. Although science is still largely onside, recent reports have revealed some complexities.
  • Fun isn't only for children—unless your quest is unsuccessful aging. We have several delightful RCTs on "fun prescriptions". What did they reveal?
  • Gratitude, in the words of Samuel Johnson, is “a fruit of great cultivation”. Thankfully, we now have a solid science—along with some specific recommendations—on how to get gratitude's juicy fruit.
  • Humour is funny: We know we'd benefit from maintaining a better sense of humour, but few of us put in the effort. There's a literature here, one both amusing and prescriptive.
  • Income relates to happiness, but only to a point—or so we’ve been told. Unfortunately, the influential “Easterlin paradox” has recently been called into question.
  • Mind-expanding drugs are back. Many butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers now swear by their morning microdose of LSD in their orange juice. But didn’t we see this colorful movie before—starring Leary & Alpert—and didn't it end badly? Is it truly different this time? What does the current science say?
  • Optimism sounds terrific, but most people are pessimistic about their ability to cultivate it. Bad news: the literature doesn't look good for those attached to their pessimism.
  • Pets make many people happier, but most pets also poop. We review the implications of the key studies from the major pet therapy journals.
  • Play isn’t what it used to be, and now we're all paying the price. We review the literature on unstructured childhood play in human development and adult well-being.
  • Resilience has a literature that refuses to die (if anything, it continues to expand). We review the most timeless tips.
  • Savouring refers to our ability to be present and to experience more deeply the pleasures of a given moment. As you may have heard, most pleasures in life are fleeting. As such, savouring is a skill the prudent person sensibly seeks to supercharge. But how?
  • Self-actualization, as defined by Abraham Maslow, is the full realization of one’s potential. What's the scientific status of Maslow's enticing construct?
  • Shirin-roku, when translated literally from Japanese, means "forest bathing". We summarize the blossoming "nature therapy" literature with a deep inhalation (of the lovely scent of pine).


Happiness Science is our most upbeat and broadly-applicable module. Please join us for this extremely positive CME!

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