Michael W. Fordyce

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Michael W. Fordyce from his Happiness Training Program

Michael W. Fordyce (December 14, 1944 – January 24, 2011) was a psychologist and a pioneer researcher in the field of empirical happiness measurement and intervention.[1] As a forerunner who approached "happiness" as an applied science, he ushered-in the modern academic branch of Positive Psychology[2][3]

Fordyce contributed a happiness-measurement article to the journal Social Indicators Research, which ranked in the journal's top 2.4% most-cited articles.[4] He demonstrated that happiness can be statistically measured[5] and willfully increased (i.e. through "volitional" behavior).[6]

Fordyce worked at Edison Community College (Fort Myers, Florida) where he taught a data-driven "happiness training program" for over three decades.[7]


  1. ^ Friedman, Haris (April 2013). "The Legacy of a Pioneering Happiness Researcher". Journal of Happiness Studies. 14 (2): 363–366. doi:10.1007/s10902-013-9419-x. hdl:10.1007/s10902-013-9419-x.
  2. ^ Duckworth, Angela. "Positive Psychology in Clinical Practice" (PDF). Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. University of Pennsylvania Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Condolences for Michael W. Fordyce". tributes.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013. I was always fascinated how the majority of modern findings were already in his 14 fundamentals. He truly was decades ahead of his time.
  4. ^ Michalos, Alex (2005). Citation Classics from Social Indicators Research. Social Indicators Research. Social Indicators Research Series. Vol. 26. doi:10.1007/1-4020-3742-2. ISBN 978-1-4020-3722-1.
  5. ^ Di Tella, Rafael; MacCulloch, Robert (23 June 2007). "Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?" (PDF). Journal of Development Economics. 86 (1): 22. doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2007.06.008. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  6. ^ Toepfer, Steven; Walker, Kathleen (2009). "Letters of Gratitude: Improving Well-Being through Expressive Writing" (PDF). Journal of Writing Research. 1 (3): 181. doi:10.17239/jowr-2009.01.03.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  7. ^ Fordyce, Michael (1993). Psychology of Happiness. Cypress Lake Media. p. 2. ISBN 9780060394363. Archived from the original on 2010-05-22. Happiness... the one thing people want so much, is the one thing they know so little about...{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Harris L. Friedman (2013). The Legacy of a Pioneering Happiness Researcher: Michael W. Fordyce (December 14, 1944–January 24, 2011). J Happiness Stud (2013) 14:363–366. DOI 10.1007/s10902-013-9419-x