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A mathematical model for the dynamics of happiness

Carrero, G, Makin, J and Malinowski, P (2021) A mathematical model for the dynamics of happiness. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 19 (2). ISSN 1547-1063

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Positive psychology recognizes happiness as a construct comprising hedonic and eudaimonic well-being dimensions. Integrating these components and a set of theory-led assumptions, we propose a mathematical model, given by a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations, to describe the dynamics of a person’s happiness over time. The mathematical model offers insights into the role of emotions for happiness and why we struggle to attain sustainable happiness and tread the hedonic treadmill oscillating around a relative stable level of well-being. The model also indicates that lasting happiness may be achievable by developing constant eudaimonic emotions or human altruistic qualities that overcome the limits of the homeostatic hedonic system; in mathematical terms, this process is expressed as distinct dynamical bifurcations. This mathematical description is consistent with the idea that eudaimonic well-being is beyond the boundaries of hedonic homeostasis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0102 Applied Mathematics, 0903 Biomedical Engineering, 0904 Chemical Engineering
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Aims Press
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 12:08
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 12:15
DOI or ID number: 10.3934/mbe.2022094
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16060
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