Friday, December 10, 2004

The Economics of Happiness

After a lunch conversation about topics like the old gem finding that "incompetent people don't know they're incompetent" (here's the link to the full journal report: "Unskilled and Unaware of It"), I went looking for the article that came out a year ago about a study illustrating human inability to predict (or act intelligently on) what will make us happy or unhappy over the long-term.

Whilst looking, I hit this great site of some talks on social policy and the psychology of happiness. The difficulty of separating measurements of happiness from the impact of income level is discussed at length. Also, the observation that happy people may not be the best for some jobs, like power plant safety monitors. They're more likely to be feeling positive and not expecting the worst: "It was alright yesterday, why should it be any worse today?"

Look for the link at the bottom to the panel talk transcript: Informing Policy Choices Using the Economics of Happiness



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if you found the Times article, but here's a link.


(Blogger won't allow the CITE tag?!)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

There's a nice article on technology and happiness by James Surowiecki in the latest Tech Review.

The Amish consistently rate high on the happiness meter despite their infrequent visits to Circuit City.

6:56 PM  

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