Jul 27
Measuring National Well-Being (again)

Back in February 2011 I looked at the British government’s plans to measure the nation’s well-being. Now the National Statistician, Jil Matheson, has published her Reflections on the National Debate on Measuring National Well-being. Was it worth waiting for?  Have we learnt anything new about well-being?  Was it worth the £2m it cost to conduct […]

Feb 28
Measuring the Nation’s Well-being: Authentic Happiness and Well-being Theory

In this month’s article for Positive Psychology News, I look at the government’s plans to measure the UK’s well-being in 2011, and Martin Seligman’s new Well-being Theory. Stop Press: the Office for National Statistics has now announced the four well-being related questions that will be included in this year’s Integrated Household Survey. They are: • […]

Jul 2
Happiness and Policy

On Monday evening I heard Ed Diener (aka Smiley Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois) present at the 4th European Conference on Positive Psychology in Croatia on the subject of Well-being on Planet Earth. Leaving aside the fact that Diener works for the Gallup Organisation, he presented some curious findings about the predictors […]

Jun 25
Positive Psychology and Politics

A great article from The Guardian yesterday about the plans of Lord Layard, the so-called ‘Happiness Tsar’, to bring happiness to the UK masses. As an economist, his epiphany was the realisation that above a certain point, money and happiness aren’t correlated. Putting aside the argument about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and depression (which is one […]

Mar 23
The Politics of Happiness

In this article last year I mentioned that the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan pioneered the measurement of well-being with its Gross National Happiness index. Now Bhutan is in the news again because tomorrow it will hold its first-ever democratic elections. This could be seen as a test of how serious the two main political […]

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