24 Jul Scientists create ‘Hedonometer’ to measure happiness
In 1881, the optimistic Irish economist Francis Edgeworth imagined a strange device called a “hedonimeter” that would be capable of “continually registering the height of pleasure experienced by an individual.” In other words, a happiness sensor.
His was just a daydream. In practice, for decades, social scientists have had a devilish headache in trying to measure happiness. Surveys have revealed some useful information, but these are plagued by the unpleasant fact that people misreport and misremember their feelings when confronted by the guy with the clipboard. Ditto for studies where volunteers call in their feelings via PDA or cell phone. People get squirrely when they know they_ã_re being studied.
But what if you had a remote-sensing mechanism that could record how millions of people around the world were feeling on any particular day–without their knowing?
To read more of this interesting article soon to be published in the Journal of Happiness Studies – click here