chapter  3
16 Pages

Joy and other positive emotions

As we saw in the last chapter, experiencing joy is one of the commonest ways in which people define happiness. Research finds that it is one of the three main components of happiness-together with satisfaction with life and the absence of negative affect. Joy is the emotional side of happiness, in contrast to satisfaction-the cognitive side. We want to know how many positive emotions there are, how they are expressed, by face and voice, and the situations and activities that arouse them. This takes us into the field of experimental mood induction, an important method of happiness research. It also takes us to the physiological processes responsible, to what is going on inside the brain, the brain areas involved, the neurotransmitters, and how drugs can enhance positive moods.