PSYC101 Introductory Psychology

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Question:

Table of Contents

Essay Topic: Happiness & the Environment

Are there any aspects of modern urban life that have an impact on happiness?

You can refer to the research on happiness and walking cities or happiness and mobility, as well as the research on transport options.

Please use research starting in 2005.

Answer:

Happiness and Mobility

How one lives and what environment they choose can have a significant impact on their mental health and happiness.

It has a huge impact on how and where we live.

But the link between city structure and physical well-being is finally being given the attention it deserves.

Mental health can be affected by how the city and surrounding area are structured.

It is possible to create an environment that promotes happiness in cities with a clear transport route to various cultural and leisure destinations.

Good socialising is key to a happy quality of life. If a person doesn’t have good communication with their family and friends, he/she might not feel fulfilled in the environment. (Kahneman & Krueger 2006).

To eliminate loneliness and achieve happiness, one must be mobile.

Societies that are more mobile have wider opportunities, less differentiation, and less social conflict.

It is believed that loneliness is one reason people are sad. But there can be many reasons.

Individuals who live in places that aren’t densely populated, or those where there are few people nearby, are often more unhappy.

However, it is well-known that happiness levels are higher for those who engage in one activity or another all the time than those who are more free.

Mobility and travel are also important for people who want to be always engaged (Berg et.al.

The study of the relationship between mobility and well-being has become a popular topic.

Even though the meanings of these two terms may be different, they are very similar.

A few researches show that happiness and transportation are not closely linked.

It has been observed that curiosity is shifting to more objective social activities than travel behavior.

Social satisfaction is a key factor in happiness.

Mobility is a key indicator of happiness. Having a car for your own personal use increases your social satisfaction, which in turn leads to greater contentment.

This is because car ownership increases mobility even if the social circle is dispersed.

Living in an area that has good connectivity to public transport is said to have positive effects on a person’s living situation (Polydoropoulou, et.al.

Recent research involved a detailed examination of the person’s personal relationships, neighborhood, behaviour when he travels, interactions with other people, and satisfaction with these interactions and solitude.

The three-item Loneliness Scale was used to measure loneliness. Participants were asked how often they felt left out or isolated.

Participants who own a car felt the most isolated. This had a negative impact upon their social satisfaction (Litman 2011).

People who walk have the highest level of satisfaction. Cyclists also have a higher interaction level, which provides them with a high degree of social contentment.

A person is happier if he has more social contentment.

This study shows how mobility can play a significant role in determining if someone is lonely.

The happiness of an individual is what society values most.

Therefore, people should not only make themselves happy but also make other people happy. This can have a huge positive impact on the environment.

Four main characteristics of life can make you happy.

The quality of the environment in which one lives determines how happy and healthy he or she is.

You can be happy if you live in the best possible environment, but it is still not the same as being happy if your environment restricts your movement.

The person who is held within four walls cannot live a high quality life.

Second, a person’s ability and willingness to face the challenges life brings.

If a person is not able to manage the various emotional and mental issues in his life, it does not mean that he is healthy.

The third reason is that a person can be unhappy or dissatisfied if there is no goal and direction in their lives (Banister and others).

Self-satisfaction is the culmination of all the three above qualities, as well as wellbeing and ultimate happiness.

Jason Cao is a University of Minnesota scholar on transport policy. He conducted a study about the benefits of a well-connected transportation system to people. The study was focused on the Hiawatha line in Minneapolis. It found that people who commuted by rail were satisfied with how easy it was to reach their destination.

This makes it a source of happiness, as people are able to easily access places via public transport.

Eric Morris, a transport scholar, conducted further research in 2011 and found that the quality of people who live within a mile from a railway line affected their lives.

Although they didn’t care whether they owned a car or not, the mere fact that they lived close to a rail line made them happy (Jaffe 2013.

People think that public transport provides mobility and freedom, which is why they are free from any kind of confinement if the driver does not know how to drive, or the car is not available.

All these fascinating bits of research from various scholars point towards the possibility that a well-planned and simulated transport system can increase a person’s optimism.

A person can be satisfied with their emotional quotient and find happiness in life (Stanley, et.al.

The environment is more than just the mobility system. It also includes many other factors such as the social environment, unity with others, and loneliness.

Mobility is basically about removing the problems of isolation and social difficulties caused by restrictions on movement. Also, mobility allows one to maintain relations across all borders with a well-built system of transportation that will bring joy to another person.

Mobility can help people feel less lonely.

Good transport is an indicator of a happy lifestyle, as social networks allow for communication to be extended across borders.

A positive environment will bring happiness, but only if it is designed to give joy to all those who live there.

If facilities aren’t available, people will not be happy.

References

Transportation and the Environment.

Annual Review of Environment and Resources.

Loneliness and ageing: The role mobility and the built world play in our lives.

Travel behavior and society

Living near good transit may make you happier.

Measurement of Subjective Health: New Developments

Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Mobility as a Positional Product: Implications for Transport Policy and Planning

(2010).

Mobility, social exclusion, well-being: Exploring the connections.

Transportation Research Part A.

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