Realizing that some people may feel guilty about reporting pleasure-seeking behaviors, Steger and his colleagues then modified the survey questions slightly to make them seem less exceptionable, and asked a new group of students to perform the study again, this time over a four-week period. The psychologists got the same results.
“A lot of times we think that happiness comes about because you get things for yourself,” said Richard Ryan, a psychologist at the University of Rochester, who was not involved in the study. But “it turns out that in a paradoxical way, giving gets you more, and I think that’s an important message in a culture that’s pretty often getting messages to the opposite effect.”
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By NBC Health