In this research paper, I will be analyzing the relationship between an individual’s level of highest degree achieved and their general level of happiness. My two variables were originally degree and happy, both which are categorical variables. My hypothesis is that individuals who have achieved a higher number of degrees are more likely to be happy with their future lifetime outcome, due to the additional resources available from the benefits of receiving a higher education. My study is in hopes to answer my research question of: are individuals who have earned a higher education thus more degrees more likely to be generally happy with their lifetime outcome?My dependent variable, general happiness, was originally operationalized as “very happy,” “pretty happy,” “not happy” and included 10 other missing values. I dropped the 10 missing observations, from my dependent variable, to simplify the choices to be whether they feel they are “very happy,” “fairly happy,” or “not happy.” I recoded the categories to 0 = “not happy,” 1 = “fairly happy,” and “2 = “very happy” because I wanted it to start with 0, to make graphing and analyzing my data easier. My independent variable was the individual’s highest degree achieved, originally operationalized as “lower than high school,” “high school,” “junior college,” “bachelor,” and “graduate”. The independent variable of highest degree, needed to be modified by combining the two categories of “junior college” with “bachelor” as both would result in receiving a degree that is after graduating high school and before graduating from a graduate program. Changes needed to be made to how my dependent and independent variables were operationalized in order to simplify comparing and contrasting the two datasets. Table 1 illustrates the summary of my two categorical variables, containing the means, standard deviations, and minimums and maximums for each group. Degrees and Happiness had a total of 1,565 observations each, gathered in both datasets and had a minimum of 0 and maximums of 3 and 2 respectively. From the data gathered, the mean of those who are happy was 1.178236, which is closer to 1, suggesting that the average level of happiness is between “fairly happy” and “very happy,” but closer to the first. On the other hand, the mean for highest level of degrees achieved had a mean of 1.572286, which is closer to 2, indicating that the average level of degrees achieved is between “high school” and “bachelor,” but closer to the latter.Table 2 presents a table displaying the cross-tabulation, comparing the relationship between level of education and how happy they are. This table illustrates the average number of degrees achieved for each of the categories of happiness, which shows the differing levels of achievement at each level of happiness. The 494 individuals who were “not happy” had an average number of degrees to be 1.2408907, which falls between the categories of “graduate” and “bachelor,” but is closer to the bachelor degree number of 1. Among the 2,161 individuals who were “fairly happy”, the mean was 1.5881536, which also falls in between the categories of “high school” and “bachelor,” which is also closer to the bachelor degree number of 2. Finally, among the 1,177 individuals who were “very happy” produced a mean of 1.682243, which falls closest to “bachelor” at almost a value of 2. After analyzing this table, I noticed a significant pattern of increasing levels of happiness with an individual’s higher number of degrees. The values for the means increased as I moved from those who were least happy to happiest, which is important because I had recoded zero to be individuals with less than high school degrees. This suggests there is a relationship between the variables. Those who were “not happy” had a lower average number of degrees, while those who were “very happy” had a higher average number of degrees. This suggests that as the numbers of degrees achieved increases the levels of happiness also increase.Since both of my variables were categorical, I constructed a bar graph. This helped visualize the relationship between my variables. I labeled the graph “General Happiness” with the categorical mean moving on the y-axis and the degrees achieved along the bottom x-axis. The bar graph presents a representation allowing interpretation the relationship of the effects of happiness to show that the higher number of degrees earned by an individual, the more likely they will be generally happy.