April 18th, 2011
Episode 51 of 583 episodes
Claudia Hammond investigates why happiness seems to have hit the headlines recently and asks whether happiness and a sense of wellbeing are skills that can be taught. A growing body of evidence, from fields such as positive psychology, suggests that happier, more optimistic people live longer and are ultimately more successful than people with a more pessimistic nature. But is optimism something that can be learnt, and can it be applied to an entire nation? The British government's recent announcement that it will be measuring the nation's wellbeing as an alternative indicator to the nation's progress has caused some controversy. Discovery delves into the world of positive psychology and asks if how we feel as a population really matters, and whether a happier nation is ultimately a more successful one.