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Can one be raised to be happy?

 

Narrator:    This is Science Today. Being a happy person isn't necessarily just a trait that you're born with — it can be a skill that one learns. Sociologist Christine Carter, executive director of the University of California, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, explains that happiness is not just about being cheerful.

Carter:    Happy people are able to deal with life's challenges in a way that is constructive and having confidence and resilience in those negative situations.

Narrator:    Carter has written a book called "Raising Happiness," which offers parents tips to raising happy, joyful children.

Carter:    Happy people tend to be far more successful than unhappy people at both work and at love. So, they get better performance reviews, they have more prestigious jobs, they earn higher salaries. So, this is something that parents often come to me and think that that's part of their jobs — to help prepare kids for the work world. Happy people also are more likely to be married and more likely to be happy in their marriage, so that's something that we tend to want for our kids.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.