The idea that the happiness of people should be a goal of public policy is not new. As early as 1809, Thomas Jefferson stated publicly his belief that “the care of human life and happiness… is the only legitimate object of good government.” And yet, for the lion’s share of human history, we have gauged societal wellbeing according to much cruder metrics, like national income. Of course, what makes people richer and what enables their flourishing are not always one and the same, and it’s encouraging that policymakers from the Kingdom of Bhutan to Santa Monica, California are beginning to incorporate the science of happiness into their work.
This year’s World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, is the combined effort of experts in economics, neuroscience, and national statistics. The researchers looked at surveys of happiness levels in 158 countries conducted between 2012 and 2015, and tried to determine the key variables behind the numbers. Continue reading here.
………What the research points to is that happiness is not merely an individual psychological phenomenon, but the product of many overlapping influences, including the quality of surrounding social norms and institutions…………..continue reading article here.