12/12/2013 02:57 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

One Theory Of Marriage And Kids: 'Very Cute In The Abstract' - Emma Green - The Atlantic

Whenever I'm walking around D.C. with friends on sunny Saturday afternoons, we inevitably see lots of babies: adorable, fat, charmingly bald babies. It's not uncommon to hear sighs of "oh my gosh, he's so precious!" and "I want one!" from my companions; I, too, have been accused of being a baby stalker from time to time.

But at The Atlantic's One Day University event on Saturday, Amherst psychology professor Catherine A. Sanderson made a convincing case that cute kids (and cute husbands and wives) might seem different when they're yours to keep. She gave a witty lecture on what social science can tell us about happiness, and these were my three biggest take-aways: