ASSIGNMENT 10 Happiness


The purpose of this assignment is to develop a deeper understanding of how younger adults compare to adults in late adulthood in their understanding of and experiences with happiness.


Watch the TED talk below.

What makes a good life?  Lessons from the longest study on happiness.

Robert Waldinger (November 2015)

Robert Waldinger is a psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School. In the talk, he discusses some of the results of the Grant study, which is a longitudinal study that took place over 75 years, and presents some conclusions on factors related to happiness.


Reflect on your own thoughts about happiness by responding to the questions in the form below.  Type your responses to the questions in the form.

Personal Reflection on Happiness


Talk to a grandparent or another relative or person you know who is 60 years of age or older and ask them the questions in the form below.  Use the form to record their responses.  

Interview with an Elder about Happiness

You can record the interview on your phone or other device and then transcribe it afterwards by playing and pausing the recording as needed.  Or you can use technology to automatically generate an audio to text transcript.  Below is information on how to use technology to generate a transcript using Microsoft software, which you have access to as a WCC student.

Microsoft: Transcribe Your Recordings


Write a paper that compares the conclusions presented in the TED talk, your own responses to the reflection questions on happiness, and your interviewee’s responses to the questions about happiness.  Use the structure below.

Paragraph 1

Introduce the topic of the paper.  Present a psychological definition of happiness, and cite the source used.  Introduce the TED talk and introduce the person you interviewed by presenting their demographics (i.e., age, gender, etc.).

Paragraph 2

Discuss how your thoughts and feelings on happiness relate to the conclusions about happiness presented in the TED talk.  Compare specific quoted statements from your reflection to specific conclusions presented in the talk.    You can point out either similarities or differences.

Paragraph 3

Discuss how your thoughts and feelings on happiness relate to the information and ideas shared by the elder you interviewed.  Compare specific quoted statements.  When discussing your interviewee’s ideas, apply some specific concepts from the textbook on socioemotional development in late adulthood, and provide in-text citations. 

Paragraph 4

How do you think younger as compared to older adults differ in how they think about and experience happiness?  Draw some general conclusions based upon your analyses above.  Then reflect upon how the TED talk and your analyses shaped your own views of happiness

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