A study in the recent issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest addresses how economic status is no longer a sufficient gauge of a nations well-being. The authors argue that the psychological well-being of its citizens is the greatest measure of a nation-- not the well-being of its economy. "While wealth has trebled over the past 50 years…well-being has been flat, mental illness has increased at an even more rapid rate, and data, not just nostalgic reminiscences, indicate that the social fabric is more frayed than it was in leaner times," the authors state. Prosperity is neither the answer nor the cause of satisfaction. The study calls for an ongoing systematic set of national indicators of well-being to report on a society and aid in its policy-making.
It has been assumed that money increases well-being and, although money can be measured with exactitude, it is an inexact surrogate to the actual well-being of a nation. In a 1985 survey, respondents from the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans and the Maasai of East Africa were almost equally satisfied and ranked relatively high in well-being. The Maasai are a traditional herding people who have no electricity or running water and live in huts made of dung. It follows, that economic development and personal income must not account for the happiness that they are so often linked to. "Scientists are now in the position to assess well-being directly, and therefore should establish a system... to supplement the economic measures," encouraged the report authors, Ed Diener, University of Illinois, and Martin E.P. Seligman, University of Pennsylvania.
The variables measured would include engagement, purpose and meaning, optimism and trust, and positive and negative emotions in specific areas such as work life and social relationships. The periodic assessment of a sample of the population would provide policymakers with a much stronger basis to gauge the well-being of the nation. It would allow them to refocus. "After all, if economic and other polices are important because they will in the end increase well-being, why not assess well-being more directly" the authors ask?
Ed Diener | EurekAlert!
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences