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Kevin Hogan
Network 3000 Publishing
16526 W. 78th St. #138
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
(612) 616-0732

The Science of Happiness
and Well Being?

By Kevin Hogan

Page 2

The UK's "Moment"

And what is the context of this particular moment?

Happiness and Well Being Study - in The Moment The Moment in the UK for many, is basking in the euphoria of the Royal Wedding. It generates a very non-random "moment" in time. I'm watching a "recap" on TV as I didn't get to see it live. It's truly remarkable how many thousands of people were captivated by this in London. Hard to see it as anything but a very good day. I saw what I perceived to be a lot of joyful faces.

Clearly the Identity of a lot of people in the U.K. is wrapped up in the Royal Family.

And that must have been a coincidence. Certainly the timing for the survey must have been planned long before they knew a Prince was going to get his Princess for the first time in three decades in England.

Ideally, you would simply reschedule the survey for some other time.

Imagine that this survey was going out at a different time when the UK wouldn't be wound up in the euphoria of this extended moment as they complete their four question survey.

Imagine that it was just another Friday....oops...that would be a contrast to Mondays and research frightfully shows that, for example, a lot more people die on Mondays than Fridays. More people are sick on Mondays (or at least that's what they report....)

So the day of the week a "happiness and well-being" survey is completed will obviously bias the results.

Of course, so does calling it a "Happiness and Well Being" Survey.

Keypoint: Asking self report questions is directly tainted by where in the weekly cycle mood related factors take place in.

But imagine that the surveys were all done on random days over the course of a random series of months.

If you've ever been to the UK, you full well know the mood of the people is different in Winter than it is in Spring.

Now, in our (yours and mine) world of a survey that has fewer contextual factors (The Moment, the time of year, the weekly cycle) that will taint the value of the results...there are still more problems.

Let me ask YOU a question:

How dissatisfied are you with your life nowadays?

Go ahead and write the answer down on a piece of paper.

1 to 5 scale. 5 is very dissatisfied, 4 somewhat dissatisfied, 3 sometimes dissatisfied, 2 mostly not dissatisfied, 1, not dissatisfied at all.

Got it?


Now wait...Is there someone in the room with you?

You will answer the question differently if there is another person present. AND you will answer the question even more differently if they can look over your shoulder and see what you are doing. The more people around, the more satisfied you will respond.


The more people observing you score yourself, the more satisfied you will report...unless you are at a political rally or at the State Capitol where you are supposed to be dissatisfied.

(Is this starting to make sense now?)

But shoot, we've known this for awhile now. We already know, for example, that women do better at math and physics when in a room with all women than a mixed group of men and women?

Real research has shown that Blacks do better in academia when they are not reminded that they are Black.

Keypoint: The environment, the context and the subtle cues around you dramatically change results.

So let's get to the fun....let's just go with "the moment."

Let's look at how you answered the first question...

What was your answer to my question? ...

Continue: Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Kevin Hogan
Network 3000 Publishing
16526 W. 78th St. #138
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
(612) 616-0732

Coffee cup photo appears under license with Stockexpert. Article photo appears under license with PRphotos.

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