“Unequal Happiness,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, examines the impact of inequality on psychological well-being. The podcast’s fifth season -- "What Do We Know About Inequality?" -- showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about inequality.
“Research shows that when the distribution of wealth varies more and more, so does the tendency to compare ourselves to those around us. ‘How am I doing?’ becomes less of an absolute question and more of a relative question,” says Thomas Gilovich, the Irene Blecker Rosenfeld Chair of Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Gilovich’s research focuses on everyday human judgment, such as how people assess what they and others are like, what the future has in store, and what events in the past “really mean." His books include “The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights” and “How We Know What Isn't So: Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life.”
The “What Makes Us Human?” podcast is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring semester, airing on WHCU and WVBR. The episodes are also available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.