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Prosperity measures: chuckles per capita instead of GDP per capita ?


cyberianpan

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I was reading this

Over 52? Then you're probably grumpy | Reuters
While infants laughed up to 300 times a day, that figure had fallen to an average of six laughs by teenage years and only 2.5 daily chuckles for those over 60, the survey for cable TV channel Dave found.
And it reminded me of a debate amongst economists and psychologists about whether we should try to measure hedonia alongside traditional economic meausures. Indeed others would suggest we should be measuring eudaimonia. However measuring these is quite difficult, though the above survey suggests such might be feasible.

So what about chuckles per capita... or can you think of other measures ?

cYp
 

Conor

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cyberianpan

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Happy Planet Index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's a funny thing - Ireland climbed in this index from 113th in 2006 (with a score of 39.38) to 78 in 2009 (scoring 42.6). You wouldn't think it.
Which is why the debate rages so fiercely amongst social scientists

Deciding what exactly to measure, and how to do so reliably is very tough - the above index is from loonynomicists- though this area is becoming more mainstream in economics

cYp
 

ONQ

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Laughter in the face of adversity is not madness.
 

farnaby

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I'd go negative and look for marginal propensity toward despair/fear/anger/inferiority/boredom/loneliness. A society which minimises these gives its people freedom to flourish.

The laughter measurement is good but beware tears of a clown and all that.
 

cyberianpan

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I'd go negative and look for marginal propensity toward despair/fear/anger/inferiority/boredom/loneliness. A society which minimises these gives its people freedom to flourish.

The laughter measurement is good but beware tears of a clown and all that.

Well laughter is only one measure, so others would be needed. So I guess there'd be 3 broad categories

  • Abnormal psychology: less of items such as you mention
  • Hedonic: chuckles and more
  • Eudaimonical: this is tougher again to measure
Studies by Kahneman et al tend to indicate a tight correlation with hedonia and monetary earnings... though the correlation vanishes above a certain threshold. The earnings threshold has shown to be order €30-60k in developed countries, a lot lower than some might have expected. Though of course what hasn't been measured, is whether such a threshold relates to the enjoyment of relative , or absolute wealth

cYp
 

sarahj

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Less status anxiety, perhaps?
That particular index includes environmental impact as well as wellbeing measures. Thus, surely Ireland's move up the ladder has more to do with our lowered levels of road building, house building, dumping (from decreased consumption) and motor purchasing?
 

Panopticon

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That particular index includes environmental impact as well as wellbeing measures. Thus, surely Ireland's move up the ladder has more to do with our lowered levels of road building, house building, dumping (from decreased consumption) and motor purchasing?
Correct. IMO Happy Planet Index is kind of a joke. Like, people aren't emigrating to Vanuatu or Costa Rica or wherever has topped this year's chart. It basically measures low use of natural resources, i.e. poverty.
 

Telemachus

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This is good thread.

I would like a self-satisfaction index measured perhaps on moments of self satisfaction per month.

I think this would be a good indicator of overall human satisfaction.

Lots of large companies use customer satisfaction as a metric to measure how happy the customers are. Self-satisfaction would be an individualistic form of this.

Laughter is very age specific. Some older people tend to laugh with their eyes rather then laugh at all.
 
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