People who look at the past through rose-tinted glasses are happier than those who focus on negative past experiences and regrets, according to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The study helps explain why personality has such a strong influence on a person's happiness. The findings suggest that persons with certain personality traits are happier than others because of the way they think about their past, present and future.
"We found that highly extraverted people are happier with their lives because they tend to hold a positive, nostalgic view of the past and are less likely to have negative thoughts and regrets. People high on the neurotic scale essentially have the exact opposite view of the past and are less happy as a result," said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, who authored the study with SF State graduating senior Jia Wei Zhang.