Happiness: what is it? A new study has found the answer: it is a mathematical equation based on your own expectations. You are so very predictable, humans.

The new study by researchers at the University College of London, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, produced an equation that can predict exactly how happy people will say they are at a given time. The takeaway: happiness is not just what happens to you, it's whether what happens is better than you thought it would be. From Science Daily:

Lead author of the study, Dr Robb Rutledge (UCL Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging and the new Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing), said: "We expected to see that recent rewards would affect moment-to-moment happiness but were surprised to find just how important expectations are in determining happiness. In real-world situations, the rewards associated with life decisions such as starting a new job or getting married are often not realised for a long time, and our results suggest expectations related to these decisions, good and bad, have a big effect on happiness.

Expectations are the key to happiness. In other words, you hold the key to your own happiness within yourself. Now that this aphorism has been scientifically proven, will you use this knowledge to eschew worldly concerns and find satisfaction from within? No, because that bitch Stacey is still taking credit for your shit and fuck that.

Most humans prefer revenge to happiness. It's just our way.

[Photo: Flickr]