There were little differences between happiness levels between women and men, even though women were found to feel either extremes of emotion just a little bit more than men. Also there were myths that some ethnicities were much happier than others, but the science behind it showed there was not a significant difference which culture you came from. The same was true for location. Although there are countless studies on who is happier depending on where their physical body is located and where you grew up, the author concluded that there was not any profound difference in that regard as well.
In addition, the highly educated vs. the people with lower education had similar levels of happiness, and times of sadness as well. Everyone is probably aware of how people who are rich and famous in Hollywood or who are rock starts appear to have depression rates far in excess of the average population, even though they seem to “have it all”. Even nurses and doctors, who are at the highest level in education, are known to also have higher rates of suicide and substance abuse than the average population. In fact, a female surgeon has a 400% higher likelihood of suicide than a typical woman in society. Thus, misconceptions about who Americans think are happy run counter to the actual facts. Fame, money, power, prestige are all fictions when it comes to finding out who is happy long term.
What was also interesting was that a person’s disability, physical or mental, also had little enduring effect. In other words, say a person received an amputation, the author wrote about several such situations and found that indeed immediately after the amputation, he or she was saddened, but it was only a temporary feeling. After a year, when interviewed again, they scored in a similar fashion to before the amputation regarding happiness. In other words, it made no long term difference even after a traumatic event such as losing a limb!