The reason given in the article as to why conservatives are happier was: "Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities." Now, viewed from a purely sociological perspective, this makes conservatives look like coldhearted bastards, or as a fellow blogger put it:
I read that report in the link, and I came away with the idea that as long as conservatives say "That's the way the cookie crumbles" when it comes to inequalities and socio-economic problems, conservatives will always be happy--"Hey! That's not my problem!"But, this is where faith comes in. Most people of faith believe a few common things. First, they believe that there is something greater and better than the world we live in. Second, they believe that thereis a reason or plan for why things are the way they are. And third, they believe that their actions determine things in both the physical and spiritual world. The study left out things like faith, which gives us confidence that things will get better if we dedicate our lives to making it so, as well as the "rationalization" as to why bad things happen to good people.
Now some of the liberal bloggers that have commented have identified themselves indirectly as either agnostic or wholly atheist. And my realization was that these people are unhappy about the inequities of society for a couple of reasons. First, they believe, or (more accurately) have no reason to believe that there is anything beyond this mundane and rather pointless life and that life and any meaning to it dies with you. And second, without the belief in some metaphysical reasons for why things are and that there is hope beyond the mundane for righting wrongs, it is up to individuals, groups, and ultimately, the government to resolve the inequalities that are a natural occurrence. So with nothing beyond a bleak and oppressive world to find comfort and solace in, a person can grow bitter, angry, or resentful.
Now I do need to make it clear that this is not my opinion of any specific person, but just an application of some concepts to explain the happy conservative articles from a perspective that includes faith. I still stand by the rational worldview that conservatives look at the world as a place of opportunities and challenges, while liberals tend to look and see inequities and barriers. But I also recognize that many people ask the fundamental questions like, "Is this all that I am?" and come up with wildly different answers.
And the results are different views of the same world.