In the Science of Well-being course on Coursera, Professor Laurie Santos referenced a small study in 2012 called When the Job is a Calling, by Harzer & Ruch, that suggested those happiest at their jobs (in the sense of considering it a calling) were those who used 4 (up to 7) of their Signature Strengths (Top 5 or 7 Character Strengths). There were only 111 participants in that survey, which is hardly enough to be convincing for most people, even if the statistical derivations show there is “statistically significant” difference (i.e. on the graph, the thin vertical lines on the dot relating to 4 on the horizontal axis does not overlap those of dots for 3 or smaller). The mind just doesn’t buy into the math at some point, and just 111 participants is way below that point for me. Why they only had 111 participants is not known but I’d never publish anything with just that few numbers if it were only a matter of taking a survey rather than having to do heart surgeries!
That’s what the Copenhagen City Heart Study would tell you! And that’s no small fad study, either! It’s been ongoing since 1976, with the first set of data collected between 1976 and 1978, the second from 1981 to 1983, the third from 1991 to 1994, and the fourth from 2001 to 2003. The study followed 20,000 men and women of all different ages, between 20 and 90. Among them were 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers. Further, this study has been cited in over 750 scientific papers!