Exterior of Nancy Nicholas Hall in the evening, with lamps and windows glowing.
News & Events

Get Happy, Feel Special

Christine Whelan is a clinical professor in the Department of Consumer Science. She is the director of the Money, Relationships & Equality Initiative in the School of Human Ecology. Dr. Whelan teaches and researches on topics of self-improvement, gender, relationships formation and purpose throughout the life course.

Whelan is featured in this On Wisconsin Magazine article, Get Happy, talking about the importance of “consuming happiness”. “The argument we are making in this course is, yes, you can buy happiness — if you spend your money right,” Whelan says. Whelan discusses the relationship between money and our values, and how to get the two to match up.

Professor Whelan is also featured on the Podcast To the Best of our Knowledge on Why Online Quizzes, Personality Tests and Horoscopes Help You Feel Special. Most of us have taken a BuzzFeed quiz like “Which Happy Potter Character Are You?” or looked at our horoscope to see what life events we have coming up in the future. If we admit these archetypes are generalized and inaccurate, why do we continue to test them? Whelan concludes it is because they allow us to focus on ourselves. “We love the idea of a personality test asking us questions about ourselves, because guess what? We all love to talk about ourselves,” said Whelan. These tests can be interesting and fun to take, but it is important not to get carried away in the identity given to us. “If we actually take them seriously, then we can also feel quite badly about ourselves.”