- The Atlantic: What Makes Us Happy? Back in the late 30’s, the founder of the Grants dime store chain wondered why scientists and doctors studied sick people instead of studying healthy, well-adjusted people. He thought there would be far more to learn from someone who was successfully navigating life than from someone failing at it. So he funded a study that selected 268 of the most “normal young men” at Harvard. That study is still going today — with about half of the men still alive in their late 80’s — and has provided an incredible amount of information on practically every aspect of human life. And of course, despite the best intentions of the study’s founders, very few of the men turned out to be “normal”. Over a third had psychiatric trouble, including 10% with severe problems. On the other hand, four of the men ran for Senate. One was a best-selling novelist. And one grew up to be President.