Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: UK creates national happiness index

  1. #1
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    UK creates national happiness index

    Starting next month, the government will pose the following questions and ask people to respond on a scale of zero to 10: How happy did you feel yesterday? How anxious did you feel yesterday? How satisfied are you with your life nowadays? To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

    Scarcely extraordinary, but Andrew Oswald, a happiness economics expert at the University of Warwick, suggested the questions were a good start, although he would have added, “How well have you been sleeping?” — an important mental health indicator — and “How pressurized do you feel your time is?”

    The important thing, he argues, it to shift “from the concept of financial prosperity to the idea of emotional prosperity.” Perhaps that’s the 21st-century indicator we need: gross emotional prosperity, or G.E.P.

    The Happynomics of Life
    I think this is a great idea. For the last 200 years, one of the central tenets of economics has been the assumption that higher productivity improves our wellbeing. And when we were developing countries struggling to overcome poverty, this was indisputably true. But what if the relationship between GDP and human wellbeing no longer holds? Wouldn't we be better off measuring how happy our societies are, and gearing our economic policies toward maximizing happiness rather than maximizing GDP?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-15-11 at 07:10 AM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Last Seen
    03-07-12 @ 03:28 AM
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    3,692

    Re: UK creates national happiness index

    I agree with a couple of caveats.

    One is that everyone will measure happiness differently. Establishing a happiness quotient is much easier than establishing what would make a country happy. For example, a lot of people view happiness as the ability to consume goods, even though it's putting them and the nation in debt.

    The other thing is that people are indoctrinated to believe they live in the best country on earth. "We're #1!" and all that. There could be some denial that comes into play when people take the survey, either from that or from just general denial that they are unhappy.

    I just hope that people answer honestly.

  3. #3
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: UK creates national happiness index

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    I agree with a couple of caveats.

    One is that everyone will measure happiness differently. Establishing a happiness quotient is much easier than establishing what would make a country happy. For example, a lot of people view happiness as the ability to consume goods, even though it's putting them and the nation in debt.

    The other thing is that people are indoctrinated to believe they live in the best country on earth. "We're #1!" and all that. There could be some denial that comes into play when people take the survey, either from that or from just general denial that they are unhappy.

    I just hope that people answer honestly.
    The great thing about those questions is that it allows a person to judge the importance of each factor and give a general answer. "how happy did you feel yesterday" is answered by the person being happy, unhappy, or something in between and doesn't go into why. Its a great preliminary question.

  4. #4
    Sage
    Infinite Chaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Seen
    11-19-17 @ 06:45 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    14,858

    Re: UK creates national happiness index

    Starting next month, the government will pose the following questions and ask people to respond on a scale of zero to 10: How happy did you feel yesterday? How anxious did you feel yesterday? How satisfied are you with your life nowadays? To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
    This has been one of Cameron's longest standing ideals as Conservative Party leader, ""Well-being can't be measured by money or traded in markets. It's about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture and, above all, the strength of our relationships.

    "Improving our society's sense of well-being is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times."


    However this was tried under Tony Blair and eventually abandoned as it was too difficult to accurately describe in a scientific way (accurately, repeatably and predictably) how people felt.

    It's certainly something you "feel" when you travel between countries but not something you can easily describe to others.

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Last Seen
    03-07-12 @ 03:28 AM
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    3,692

    Re: UK creates national happiness index

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    This has been one of Cameron's longest standing ideals as Conservative Party leader, ""Well-being can't be measured by money or traded in markets. It's about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture and, above all, the strength of our relationships.

    "Improving our society's sense of well-being is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times."


    However this was tried under Tony Blair and eventually abandoned as it was too difficult to accurately describe in a scientific way (accurately, repeatably and predictably) how people felt.

    It's certainly something you "feel" when you travel between countries but not something you can easily describe to others.
    If it can't be measured, then how do they rank the happiness quotient for each country (i.e. Bhutan is the "happiest")?

    There must be a way.

    I agree with the OP that GDP ≠ Happiness.

  6. #6
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: UK creates national happiness index

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    If it can't be measured, then how do they rank the happiness quotient for each country (i.e. Bhutan is the "happiest")?

    There must be a way.

    I agree with the OP that GDP ≠ Happiness.
    I think a satisfaction index would be better than a happiness index. The two emotions are close, but not quite the same. Also, I would imagine that satisfaction would be easier to measure since people tend to be satisfied or unsatisfied while happiness tends to be more complex.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •