The Institute of Subjective Well-Being (ISWB) shares both established and pioneering research in the field of subjective well-being. Subjective well-being is a suitable way to refer to happiness: subjective, because it is in the eyes’ of the beholder; well-being, because it is always in progress and not a place to reach and hold for good. It also reminds us the importance of evidence-based approaches to well-being, in light of the substantial advancements achieved during the last few decades in mind, body and brain research.
Membership to the Institute of Subjective Well-Being (ISWB) is free and open to media professional, researchers, students, and the public at large. We publish pamphlets and white-papers, freely available on our site; we also edit a newsletter for media experts who want to receive updates about developments in the field of subjective well-being.
Considering scientific research has already proven happiness is a matter of many factors, including personal choices, environmental influences and genetics, we work to keep the discussion open. An analogical approach to happiness (where different factors influencing happiness are weighted according to the context) has proven more effective than a digital approach (where the discussion is focused on finding one exclusive, or leading, cause for all); even of course the yes/no approach seems always the most efficient, the additional knowledge we are gaining and the exponential growth in computing power when it comes to scenarios-building, will make possible to opt for a more effective approach, with efficiency taken care by progress. Discussing about different degrees of appropriateness, instead of zero-sum right or wrong positions, brings more positive results, at the advantage of all parties involved in the discussion.
Research has also shown that happiness is a two-way street: our mind influences what and how we see; at the same time, external elements – channeled through our senses – influences our mind, and can physically change our brain, rewiring it (neuroplasticity) and generating new neurons (neurogenesis). This means the brain has an important role in subjective well-being, but should not seen as the only player in the field.