Jewish World Review Feb. 28, 2006 / 30 Shevat, 5766
The secret of the happiness gap
A major study for Pew Research Center echoes results of 30 years of previous surveys, showing that conservatives as vastly more likely than liberals to describe themselves as "very happy".
Part of this "happiness gap" stems from personal and economic status conservatives are more frequently prosperous, married, and regular churchgoers but even when controlling for these factors, a conservative outlook still contributes to personal happiness.
For instance, poor conservatives are happier than poor liberals, and single Republicans are happier than single Democrats. I would argue this gap reflects the different way conservatives and liberals channel the fundamental instinct to alter reality.
All people feel the impulse to use their G-d-like power to change things, but conservatives emphasize changing themselves while liberals focus on changing the world.
Since it's far more possible to change your own world, than to change society at large, conservatives are more likely to feel a sense of happiness, satisfaction and optimism.
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