How A Well-Being Index For Cities Is Taking Shape In California
Santa Monica is already a pretty pleasant place to live, but now it’s working to become the first city in the U.S. to create a local well-being index to help the government gauge and respond to citizen happiness.
Which Personality Traits Are Most Predictive of Well-Being?
We all want more well-being in our lives. But which traits are most likely to be associated with well-being? This is an important question because it can help inform our decision to cultivate some aspects of our being over others, and can even inform culture-wide interventions to increase societal levels of well-being.
But in answering this question there are some important considerations. For one, what aspect of well-being are we talking about? In recent years, multiple aspects of well-being have been studied that go beyond the stereotypical smiling and positive vibes associated with happiness (see here for a review).
Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups
In 2015, Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton made global headlines after documenting a shocking rise in the proportion of white non-Hispanic Americans dying in middle age.
This year, as part of the Spring 2017 edition of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Professors Case and Deaton are following up on that research to further investigate the rise and its causes, examining midlife mortality rates of white non-Hispanics in the U.S. by geography, education, birth cohort, and more. You can read the full paper here.
Dividing the country into 1,000-plus regions, the authors find that the rate of “deaths of despair” (deaths by drugs, alcohol, and suicide) in midlife for white non-Hispanics rose in nearly every part of the country and at every level of urbanization—from deep rural areas to large central cities—hitting men and women similarly.
In 2000, the epidemic was centered in the southwest. By the mid-2000s it had spread to Appalachia, Florida, and the west coast. Today, it’s country-wide.
The first World Happiness Report was published in April, 2012, in support of the UN High Level Meeting on happiness and well-being. Since then the world has come a long way. Increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. In June 2016 the OECD committed itself “to redefine the growth narrative to put people’s well-being at the center of governments’ efforts”. In February 2017, the United Arab Emirates held a full-day World Happiness meeting, as part of the World Government Summit. Now on World Happiness Day, March 20th, we launch the World Happiness Report 2017, once again back at the United Nations, again published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and now supported by a generous three-year grant from the Ernesto Illy Foundation. Some highlights are as follows.
Advances in Well-Being: Methodological and Measurement Issues
Distinguishing Indicators of Human Well-Being from Ill-Being
The Psychology of Work-Life Balance
Betterment of the Human Condition Award
Management QOL in the News - October 13, 2016
How to Teach Happiness at School
By Ilona Boniwell
We can teach students crucial skills of well-being without overhauling the curriculum, Ilona Boniwell explains.
Health is part of every public-school education. But what is health? It's more than just nutrition and gym class.
As early as 1947, the World Health Organization defined health as a state of mental and social—not just physical—well-being. Today, more and more schools worldwide are integrating social-emotional learning into their curriculum, teaching skills such as self-awareness, empathy, and active listening.
More than a decade of research looks at how our spending choices can make us happier—or leave us disappointed.
When we think about spending our money wisely, we usually focus on getting the best value for the lowest price. We comparison shop and download apps to find the latest discounts and deals; we’re seduced by the daily special or the limited-time offer.
But, for those of us lucky enough to have disposable income, what if we defined wise spending in terms of the happiness that it brings? That's a completely different way of thinking about our purchases, and one that we have little practice in.
How to measure prosperity: GDP is a bad gauge of material well-being. Time for a fresh approach
Which would you prefer to be: a medieval monarch or a modern office-worker? The king has armies of servants. He wears the finest silks and eats the richest foods. But he is also a martyr to toothache. He is prone to fatal infections. It takes him a week by carriage to travel between palaces. And he is tired of listening to the same jesters. Life as a 21st-century office drone looks more appealing once you think about modern dentistry, antibiotics, air travel, smartphones and YouTube.
The trouble with GDP: Gross domestic product (GDP) is increasingly a poor measure of prosperity. It is not even a reliable gauge of production
One of Albert Einstein’s greatest insights was that no matter how, where, when or by whom it is measured, the speed of light in a vacuum is constant. Measurements of light’s price, though, are a different matter: they can tell completely different stories depending on when and how they are made.
Rewriting history: The nation’s income is a constantly moving target
By how much did Britain’s economy grow in 1959? It would seem to be a question that ought to have been settled long ago. It hasn’t been. Samuel Williamson of the University of Illinois finds that in the British government’s annual “Blue Book” reports on GDP in the half-century or so since this uncelebrated year, there have been 18 different answers. The Blue Book published in 1960 said 2.7%; that of 2012 said 4.7%. British GDP, it seems, is under almost constant revision.
The party winds down: Across the world, politically connected tycoons are feeling the squeeze
Two years ago The Economist constructed an index of crony capitalism. It was designed to test whether the world was experiencing a new era of “robber barons”—a global re-run of America’s gilded age in the late 19th century. Depressingly, the exercise suggested that since globalisation had taken off in the 1990s, there had been a surge in billionaire wealth in industries that often involve cosy relations with the government, such as casinos, oil and construction. Over two decades, crony fortunes had leapt relative to global GDP and as a share of total billionaire wealth.
In this video / article Hans Rosling blows up some misconceptions and misunderstandings about population growth. He convincingly makes the following points: 1) Population growth should hit a limit around 11 billion within the next hundred years, as the world equalizes in health outcomes. 2) In developed countries, a ratio near 2 parents to 2 children mostly exists. As a result of equalizing health outcomes, low child mortality, and family planning, family sizes go down, and population growth slows in a predictable way. 3) Current population trends are strong enough that by 2100, only ~10% of the world population will be in Western nations (North America, Western Europe) — Africa will quadruple in population and Asia will increase about 25%.
Learn more at Farnam Street (14 minutes).
Management QOL in the News - February 03, 2016
Greater Good Live
Please follow the link below to see highlights of a talk given by Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as he explains what he sees as the four science-based keys to well-being.