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“We find that there is some truth to this: lower expectations make it more likely that an outcome will exceed those expectations and have a positive impact on happiness.” But the team also found that positive expectations can influence happiness before the outcome.
“If you have plans to meet a friend at your favourite restaurant, those positive expectations may increase your happiness as soon as you make the plan,” said Dr Rutledge.
First, a few questions to help us in creating your personal lowered-expectations profile.
Let’s get started.(a) Because I’m not allowed to live near an elementary school.(b) Because men/women are shallow, and are attracted only to people with money, good looks, and handkerchiefs.(c) Because I still haven’t found the little door on the TV.(a) Grabbing some coffee, reading the paper, and catching a movie, all while sitting on the toilet.(b) Walking hand in hand through the park, all by myself.(c) Spending the whole day in bed, with my parents.(a) Someone who doesn’t say “When I look at you, I want to vomit” on my birthday.(b) A special feeling that makes me want to wash all the places people can see.(c) Being able to finish each other’s sentences, at a minimum-security facility.(a) Closes the refrigerator door.(b) Makes it to the bathroom.(c) Never says, “I’m making a mental note.”(d) Never gets angry at the judges while watching a televised dance competition.(e) Never murmurs about my flaws to the cat.(f) Remembers that even if we’re married it’s still my house.(a) Tom Brokaw.(b) Abraham Lincoln.(c) Someone who was a senior when Tom Brokaw and Abraham Lincoln were freshmen.(d) The first monkey to walk upright, and who then worked on the yearbook with Tom Brokaw and Abraham Lincoln.
More recently the evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller put forward an entertaining, if speculative, battery of arguments in The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature. Sexual selection itself comes in a variety of flavors.They discovered that feeling happy depends not on how well things are going overall, but whether they are going better than might be expected.The team invited 26 people to play a gambling game where they could choose to stick with receiving 40p each game or gamble and possibly win 90p, but maybe win nothing.The story, which centers on a teen (played by newcomer Liam James) struggling to find himself as his world changes, deals with issues that perhaps are too close to home for that latter demographic.Contextually, the dramedy fits nicely among past Fox Searchlight summer pics such as “Little Miss Sunshine,” though that film earned nearly million at the domestic box office, far more than “Way Way Back” will ultimately gross.