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Sex. Women are prone to higher emotional highs and lower emotional lows, whereas men are prone to more constant emotions. So Happiest Person must be a man, concludes USA Today. While science does hit bull's eye, conclusion misses barn wall. I suppose they'll be telling us that Seattle is sunniest spot in America because weather fluctuates less than in The Sunshine State.
Family. Happiest Person is married, has children, and is healthy. People with intimate relationships do tend to be happier, and marriage is a fairly good indicator (especially for men). And health is important. These may not be among Seligman's six principles, but let's not argue against good health.
Money. Happiest person has a "good, dependable job" as a stockbroker, a 2,300 square foot house (with an eat-in kitchen and a deck!). The truth comes out – money does buy happiness, according to USA Today research team.
In fact, studies show that money makes a difference only if it elevates a person above poverty level. When a person has means enough not to struggle for basic necessities, money rarely buys happiness.
Brand-awareness. This one must have made big ad agency tycoons drool in their Corn Flakes. Happiest Person is for real because he likes all right brands! He "digs" Coca-cola, so he must be real thing. And he loves Craftsman tools and Dell computers. Say no more.
Where does USA Weekend exposé leave rest of us? If you are a little old lady enjoying retirement in Atlanta or a student conquering new fields of knowledge in Ann Arbor, you clearly are not happy enough for USA Today. But cheer up, even The Happy Guy eats "donuts" rather than "Krispy Kremes".
David Leonhardt is the Happy Guy, author of "Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness". Sign up for your free "Daily Dose of Happiness" at http://www.TheHappyGuy.com/daily-happiness-free-ezine.html, or visit the Self-actualization Resource Center at http://www.TheHappyGuy.com/self-actualization-articles.html.