Posted by: aboutalbion | July 5, 2012

Happiness index

After yesterday’s post mentioning happiness, I was surprised to discover today that the UK government is spending time and money to find a way to measure happiness.

Today’s report, which is part of the UK government’s £2 million project, finds that those who are ‘better educated’ are more likely to say that they are ‘happy’.  There is no suggestion that a particular education experience leads to happiness.  The findings are just that ‘better educated’ and ‘happiness’ are correlated (ie go together).

What would Arthur [“Every life history is a history of suffering”] Schopenhauer make of this?  I imagine that Schopenhauer would say that when you ask the question, “Are you happy?”, the ‘better educated’ will answer ‘yes’ because they feel that the question posed was really, “Are you better educated?”.

When I read about the government’s desire to be able to measure happiness, I struggle to think what public policies would follow on from the successful design of a happiness index.

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