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Trust for Happiness

By Jeremy Adam Smith | September 1, 2008 | 0 comments

When Paul Zak, founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, compared levels of trust and self-reported happiness in 25 countries (see graph below), he discovered that the two were closely related: The more trusting people are, the happier they are, and vice versa. Noting the relationship between the hormone oxytocin, trust, and warm, happy feelings, Zak writes in a 2007 paper, “Nature has designed us to be conditional cooperators because it literally feels good.”

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About The Author

Jeremy Adam Smith is producer and editor of the Greater Good Science Center’s website. He is also the author or coeditor of four books, including The Daddy Shift, Rad Dad, and The Compassionate Instinct. Before joining the GGSC, Jeremy was a 2010-11 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. You can follow him on Twitter!

  

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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