This study investigated the perceived sources of happiness among young men and women. Rank scores of the perceived reasons for happiness were compared between the two groups and seven significant differences were discerned. Men ranked “sexual activity”, “sports”, being “liked” and having a “good social life” significantly higher than women. Women ranked “helping others”, having a “close family” and being “loved by loved ones” significantly higher than men. A modified form of network analysis was also conducted. Both networks demonstrated similar core representations of happiness with a focus on self-confidence, being free of stress, occupational and social factors, family support and personal relationships. However, the networks show an association between sexual activity and male personal relationships, whereas emotional factors are associated with female personal relationships. The male network also demonstrates the importance of sports and physical activity in male happiness. Despite some gender differences, it is suggested that the similarities within the mean rank scores and networks form the core elements of a shared social representation of happiness.
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Crossley, A., Langdridge, D. Perceived Sources of Happiness: A Network Analysis. J Happiness Stud 6, 107–135 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-005-1755-z
- network analysis