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The Perception Of Happiness In Teenagers

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 2448 words Published: 9th Sep 2021

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Most teenagers do not know the true meaning behind happiness. A teenager usually feels stuck between childhood and adulthood, and that explains their mood shifts. In this research, a teenager was interviewed about his perspectives of how he can be happy just to derive some points to help answer my research question. For happiness to reside inside the teenage soul is quite a difficult task due to the teenager’s unstable mood swings. If the teenager were to grow up as a depressed person, nothing good will come out of our country in future generations.


The teenage stage in life is known to be the most complicated stage that a person undergoes. In that stage, teenagers are stuck between two stages; the childhood and adulthood. Teenagers want to be treated like adults, yet their actions show that they are still immature.

For happiness to reside inside the teenage soul is quite a difficult task due to the teenager’s unstable mood swings. The number of depressed teens in the world seems to be increasing. People wonder why when the have these wonderful technology nowadays, but maybe these miscellaneous items aren’t where happiness come from

One reason behind teenager’s sadness is maybe because teenagers don’t know the true meaning and way of being happy. If teens grow up to be depression people, they will absolutely affect our community in many negative ways. It is a very critical matter to know of some ways that teenagers can achieve happiness by.

The aim of this research is to find out more about true happiness in teenagers and what they can do to be happy. This is a serious matter that needs to be also dealt in professional hands because teenagers are very complicated people.

Research Question: What are some ways that will help teenagers achieve true happiness?

Literature review

Strack, Schwarz, & Gschneidinger (1985) assert, “…one must consider the psychological mechanisms that mediate between the external event and individuals’ happiness and satisfaction.” Strack, Schwarz, & Gschneidinger mention that a persons way of thinking, his psychological thoughts, will help him reach happiness and satisfaction with the outside world. They show that it isnt the external stituations that makes a person happy. Infact it is the psychological mechanism that a person thinks in that will make that person happy and satisfied.

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According to Martin (2005), “happiness consists of a combination of three distinct elements; pleasure, the absence of displeasure, and satisfaction.” All these elements seem to come from emotional and psychological areas. The first element “pleasure” is in the emotional state of feeling great. The second element “the absence of displeasure”, he quite reflects that no matter what happens, a person should not feel bad or unsatisfied with what he has. The third element “satisfaction”, he clearly says that one should always be satisfied. All these psychological elements seem to be revolving around the same concept.

Stein (2011) says, “It’s far more likely the cashier was rude because of something in his own life. Furthermore, you will be happier if you assume his bad manners are due to his own issues. That’s two good reasons to assume it has nothing to do with you and move on.” Stein gives an example of a situation that a person can face in an optimistic manner were she describes an angry cashier that sort of spoke in a rude manner. Instead of making a scene about it, Stein shows that if you show empathy towards the cashier and think that maybe he had a bad day, you will be much happier and his problems won’t affect you.

Stein also said, “If you look hard enough, you can find something to learn and some good in any situation.” Everyone has ups and downs in his or her life. The ups are the ones that any person does his or her best to cherish and love them, which is a good thing. But, when a bad thing or situation happens, people try to isolate these memories yet they know they can’t. This will affect them mentally. But if they were to learn from these experiences and find the good in them, they will be happier no matter what happened.

Methodology Section

Type of Research: survey.

Data Collection Tool: Tape-Recorded Interview

Although there are many types of data collection tools, the most suitable tool for this research is a tape-recorded interview. An interview makes it easier for the interviewee to express his emotions and describe his real life experiences, noting down every single detail. That way the interviewee can tell his answers and descriptions more clearly and accurately.

Background of interviewee: When picking an interviewee candidate for my interview, the following must be kept in consideration:

A person who is a teenager (age 12-18): a teenager must be the interviewee to know how teenagers think and act. One must not interview an adult for a teenager’s point of view.

A person who always tends to avoid having problems: Such a teenager will not have many problems with other people, hence he will hardly be sad.

A person who is happy and satisfied with life: Knowing what made him happy or how did he become happy will greatly assist this research.

A person who is very calm and doesn’t act irrationally: Such teens will know how to act in harsh situations without hurting themselves.

Analysis and Interpretation

The interviewee seems to be very understanding on the way other teenagers think. He grew up in the hands of very strict parents, yet he never complained about them. In fact, he always mentions how much he loves them and how grateful he is towards them. He also mentions some mistakes that teenagers always do.

The interviewee starts the interview by giving two common wrong thoughts of what teenagers think happiness is. Teenagers usually think that happiness comes either from extrinsic items, like gifts and expensive objects, or intrinsic bonds, like those between your family and friends. The interviewee states, “happiness is just how you think and how you interpret the problems you face in your everyday life.” He says that happiness is more of a mindset rather than a physical or emotional being.

The interviewee gives a wrong common interpretation that teenagers think when he gives an example to his description of happiness. He said, “…when you face a problem between you and your family, what a teenager usually thinks that his parents hates him and that his life is over…” Then he gives a consequence to this thinking when he says, “then slowly these negative thoughts start controlling him gradually and he will end up hating his parents.” He shows that this way of thinking is one of the reasons why teenagers are unhappy. He then shows the correct way of thinking when he said, “But if he thinks about it in a positive way, like instead of his parents hating him, he should think that his parents are doing this to protect him, he will be a much happier and thankful person.” He shows that optimism and empathy will make any teenager more happy and accepting. He summarizes his point that happiness comes from positive thinking.

The interviewee shows that with the correct mindset, a teenager can feel like the happiest person in the world when he said, “I really like to think of myself as from the happiest kids on earth because I believe when u thinks like that you feel like that.” He shows that even if there is a problem, being proactive is best to solve it and therefore be much happier. He implies if a teenager is not proactive, his problems will gradually grow and expand, and they might reach to a point where this problem will affect him negatively.

The interviewee shares some of his methods that make him happy when he said, “Well I try my best to think of my life and problems in a different way, by always thinking positive. Plus I always tend to expect the worst, but not in a pessimistic way.” He gives an additional example were he shows that happiness comes from the correct thoughts or the correct mindset. He shows that having humble expectations can help a teenager be much more happy and appreciative in any situation.

The interviewee describes himself as any other teenager, showing that he can also be in the same situation that any teenager can be in. The only different thing is the way he acts in that situation. He implies that being self-aware and proactive is the best way to approach a situation. This way a teenager can solve any problem that stands in his way, therefore making him a happier person.

In the end of the interview, the interviewee asserted that happiness is internal, and that any teenager can be happy if he wants to. He indirectly states again that true happiness comes from the correct mindset.


So, What are some ways that will help teenagers achieve true happiness?

Research Question Answers:

They should think positively.

They should show empathy toward others.

They should be optimistic.

They should be proactive towards their problems.

They should have humble expectations

They should be self-aware.

In conclusion, the mistakes those teenagers commit mostly revolve around their negative thoughts. This is one of the reasons that lead them to be depressed. Teens should be taught of such helpful methods that the interviewee showed and even more. Teenagers are the future of our community and they should be filled with happiness and bright thoughts.

I recommend that teenagers should implement these methods that the interviewee performs because if the teenagers in our community were to be depressed and unsatisfied with life, they will grow to be unsuccessful men. Schools should make psychology classes that can help teenagers in their school learn more about how to be happy. This matter is very important because if our teens were to be unhappy then our community will fall to the ground because in the future they wont be successful. Scientists that understand about teenagers must perform more research and studies on the happiness in teenagers to help find more ways for them to be happy.

Critical Reflection

When the second semester in school started, a sudden rush hit me. I remembered that in the second semester we are supposed to take research classes, and in the end of the year we’re supposed to hand the teacher a full research project that will hold a high percentage of our report card grade. I was scared, until the first research period. Our teacher came and explained what research is and how easy it is if we follow 10 simple steps in the coming months. He also told us that this would help us in our university, especially because I’m going to pursue a medical career.

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The first step wasn’t very hard. I already had some areas in mind that I would love to know more about. I wrote the three areas easily, but the hard part was picking the one I wanted to work on most. In the end, I chose the topic I want most, and the one that seems to be the most informative. Until now, I felt great and satisfied with the research.

In the second step, I had to pick the best title for my research. I had to check what I wanted to find in this research first to put the most suitable title. Until know the steps seem to be very simple, yet I knew I had a long way to go. I took a look at some research samples of the previous year. It was then when I became shocked and terrified. These samples seemed to be very complicated and long. I knew I’m still very far from being able to perform a proper research.

In the third step, I had to find some research questions that show my aim of this research. I asked the teacher for some guidance because I didn’t want to pick a very complicated research question that needs time and relentless effort to perform. I felt relieved when I asked my teacher about it because as it seems the research questions I was going to choose were very complicated.

In the fourth step, I had to figure how am I going to gather my information and in what method. This step felt like a break because I already planned before how am I going to gather my information.

The fifth and sixth step were the hardest so far. I felt very pressured because we only had limited time to perform these steps. Finding the proper questions for my interview was very difficult, but with my teachers help I was able to finish in time. When I finished formulating my interview questions, I had to look for the best interviewee. This task was easy because I already had a person in mind.

The seventh step wasn’t hard, yet it was time consuming. I felt really pressured due to the fact we had two weeks left, and I still have many questions regarding the research. In this step I had to transcribe the whole interview on the computer. I felt like this step would take forever. I just kept on typing and typing non-stop until I finished transcribing it.

Here I was in the last three steps. I was scared, yet thrilled that I’m almost done from the research. This step wasn’t very complicated, but finding the correct information was very hard. I hardly found some literary reviews for my topic. These steps took a lot of time. For a second I thought I would never finish this research on time. So I worked very hard to finish this research, which took me days and nights of non-stop typing and searching. In the end, I was able to get this research done. I felt very happy and relieved because the final graded assignment of this year is finally over.


Martin, P. (2005). Making Happy People: The Nature of Happiness and Its Origins in . Childhood. Paul Martin. HarperPerennial.

Stein, C. (2011). How To Be Happy (p. 41). New York: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Retrieved from https://www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk/files/press-releases/OrangeTreeTheatrePressRelease-HowToBeHappy_0.pdf

Strack, F., Schwarz, N., & Gschneidinger, E. (1985). Happiness and reminiscing: The role of time perspective, affect, and mode of thinking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49(6), 1460-1469. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.49.6.1460


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