Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy yet?

So, I took part in the Science Gallery's National Happiness Experiment during the Summer and the results are now in!

The nationwide survey (the first of its kind in Ireland) was conducted by the Science Gallery and researchers from Trinity's School of Psychology and involved the team using text messaging to contact the 3,309 participants and gauge their mood over a six week period.

The results show that:

  • The average happiness over the six week period was 6.8 (on a 0-10 scale).
  • Being treated fairly was a key factor in how happy we feel.
  • There was a strong link between health and happiness. Those who considered themselves to be quite healthy scored significantly higher in terms of happiness and life satisfaction.
  • People who felt positive about phone and text use were on average happier and more satisfied.
  • The changing weather during the six-week experiment did not affect happiness levels.
  • The county we live in does not effect our happiness levels.
The results of the experiment have been published in book form - see here for details. Half of the proceeds for the book goes to St. Vincent de Paul. A wonderful gesture which will make some people very happy this Christmas. Despite this, and given the 'citizen science' nature of the experiment, it's strange that the results don't seem to have been made freely available.


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