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D. Proof That Misery Loves Company

Narrator: This is Science Today. Unhappy people feel better about performing a task poorly if someone else did even worse than they did. Those are the findings of a study conducted by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside.

Lyubomirsky: People who were unhappy felt less anxious and more joyful when they learned that they did poorly but that their peer did even worse than when they learned they did well, but their peer did even better. Happy people showed the appropriate, the normative response. They felt somewhat more happy when they learned that they did well than when they learned that they did poorly.

Narrator: Lyubormirsky says that's because happy people have their own personal standards and don't seem to compare themselves to others as much as unhappy people.

Lyubomirsky: Unhappy people seem deflated by other people's successes and seem relieved by their failures and this does not seem to be a good prescription for happiness.

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