Members in the Media
From: The Wall Street Journal

After Trauma, New Strength as Well as New Scars

The Wall Street Journal:

Who is happier, the winner of a lottery jackpot or someone confined to a wheelchair after an accident? The answer seems obvious—the lottery winner. But it isn’t that simple.

For her 2013 doctoral thesis at Harvard, a young psychologist named H’Sien Hayward surveyed 50 individuals who had been paralyzed in accidents decades earlier, 50 lottery winners who had received an average prize of $6 million about a decade earlier, and a control group of 50 people who hadn’t experienced a major calamity or windfall. Despite their radically different experiences, each group reported similarly high levels of happiness—and the accident survivors said that they took pleasure in daily activities slightly more than did members of the other two groups.

Dr. Hayward’s findings are part of a growing body of research pioneered by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In the early 1980s, they tried to learn about wisdom by speaking with widows. These women reported lasting sorrow—but many had become closer to their children and more independent. They discovered that they were far stronger than they had thought.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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