Evidence based pursuit of happiness: What should we know, do we know and can we get to know?
The rational pursuit of happiness requires knowledge of happiness and in particular answers to the following four questions: 1: Is greater happiness realistically possible? 2: If so, to what extent is that in our own hands? 3: How can we get happier? What things should be considered in the choices we make? 4: How does the pursuit of happiness fit with other things we value? Answers to these questions are not only sought by individuals who want to improve their personal life, they are also on the mind of managers concerned about the happiness of members of their organization and of governments aiming to promote greater happiness of a greater number of citizens. All these actors might make more informed choices if they could draw on a sound base of evidence. In this paper I take stock of the available evidence and the answers it holds for the four types of questions asked by the three kinds of actors. To do this, I use a large collection of research findings on happiness gathered in the World Database of Happiness. The data provide good answers to the questions 1 and 2, but fall short on the questions 3 and 4. Priorities for further research are indicated.
|Date of creation:||01 Jun 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- J. Ott, 2011. "Government and Happiness in 130 Nations: Good Governance Fosters Higher Level and More Equality of Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 3-22, May.
- Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1997.
"A Case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1848-58, November.
- Cahit Guven, 2009.
"Are Happier People Better Citizens?,"
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
199, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2009.
"The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4200, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "The paradox of declining female happiness," Working Paper Series 2009-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2009. "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," CEPR Discussion Papers 7311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," NBER Working Papers 14969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heidi Lepper, 1998. "Use of Other-Reports to Validate Subjective Well-Being Measures," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 367-379, July.
- Daniel Kahneman & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Anomalies: Utility Maximization and Experienced Utility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 221-234, Winter.
- R. Veenhoven, 2008. "Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 449-469, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41924. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.