Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Originally from Russia, she received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Lyubomirsky currently teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology and serves as the Department of Psychology’s graduate advisor. Her teaching and mentoring of students have been recognized with the Faculty of the Year and Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards.
Lyubomirsky’s research has been awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation grant, and a million-dollar grant (with Ken Sheldon) from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. Her research has been written up in hundreds of magazines and newspapers and she has appeared in multiple TV shows, radio shows, and feature documentaries in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. She has lectured widely to a variety of audiences throughout the world, including business executives, educators, physicians, entrepreneurs, military officers, mental health professionals, life coaches, retirees, students, and scholars. The How of Happiness is now translated and published in 19 countries, and The Myths of Happiness is scheduled to be launched on January 3, 2013.
In her work, Lyubomirsky has focused on developing a science of human happiness. To this end, her research addresses three critical questions:
1) What makes people happy?
2) Is happiness a good thing?
3) How can we make people happier still?
For example, she is currently exploring the potential of happiness-sustaining activities – for example, expressing gratitude, doing acts of kindness, visualizing a positive future, and reflecting on happy moments – to durably increase a person’s happiness level beyond his or her “set point.” She has been conducting research on happiness for 23 years and has published widely in the area.
Lyubomirsky lives happily in beautiful Santa Monica, California with her husband, Peter Del Greco, and their children, Gabriella, Alexander, and new addition Isabella.