Exploring the science of the good life

October 26, 2017 | GET MORE : Economic Trends

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Positive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman breaks down the 2017 U.S. Bank Possibility Index in a new podcast.

The 2017 U.S. Bank Possibility Index found that life at home is outpacing that at work and play for Americans, and the way they talk about each aspect on social media is often more positive than real-life data suggests. 

In the Index, U.S. Bank explored how work, home, play and conversation come together to shape Americans' opportunities and mindsets. To build it, the bank analyzed how data points from internet access to social media sentiment stack up across the country and how they’ve changed in the past year. The overall Index score (49), which sets the baseline for future years, was lifted by home (51) and conversation (67) while held back by work (38) and play (40).

Scott Barry Kaufman, professor of Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania, author, and spokesperson for the Index, joined the Power of Possible podcast to talk about the findings. 

Kaufman, who describes the field of positive psychology as looking at "the science of the good life," said on the podcast that he was drawn to the Index because of how it triangulates a wide range of data points impacting a person's life.

"I think we should really be on the lookout for as many opportunities for growth in our daily life as we can," he said. "There are many routes to happiness, and the pursuit of income shouldn't be our guiding light."

Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or PlayerFM.

Pat Swanson is a member of U.S. Bank's public affairs and communications team.