UC Riverside Psychology Professor Named One of the Coolest Women in Science

Sonja Lyubomirsky made Business Insider’s Top 15 Most Amazing Women in Science list

Sonja Lyubomirsky

“A large portion of our happiness is in our power to change by the way we think and act in our daily lives,” professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky said.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – She’s making the world a happier place. Well, she’s trying her hardest to. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside has devoted her research career to studying human happiness. And it’s earned her a spot in Business Insider’s list of “The 15 Most Amazing Women in Science Today.”

“I’m so honored and completely humbled to be in the company of such amazing women.  I couldn’t have accomplished this research without the fantastic contributions of my graduate students and collaborators,” said Lyubomirsky upon hearing about the recognition.

The list of 15 women was pulled from Business Insider’s list of top 50 scientists, both male and female. “In the science and technology industries, women are often massively underrepresented. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t making some of the most important and inspiring contributions out there. We’ve highlighted 15 female scientists who are doing amazing things, pulled from our recent list of groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world,” the article stated.

Lyubomirsky’s research addresses three critical questions:

  1. What makes people happy?
  2. Is happiness a good thing?
  3. How and why can people learn to lead happier and more flourishing lives?

In her book “The How of Happiness,” Lyubomirsky explained that people are in control of much of their own happiness. The other determinants of happiness are a mixture of genetics and their environment. To explore how individuals can be happier, Lyubomirsky has studied the well-being benefits of such positive activities as expressing gratitude, doing acts of kindness, and savoring the present moment. An intervention to increase happiness by “living this month like it’s your last month” was featured on the TODAY show earlier this month.


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