31 Jul How to boost world happiness
From Science Central at Times Online…
Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and a friend of Science Central, is a pretty cheerful sort of chap. He’s also keen to make the world into a happier place — and he has now launched a mass experiment to put various happiness-boosting techniques to the test. Science Central readers are warmly encouraged to take part.
You’ll need to start by logging onto Richard’s Science of Happiness website, where you’ll fill in a short questionnaire about your mood. Then you’ll be shown one of four YouTube videos Richard has made, each detailing a technique that’s purported to be capable of improving happiness — which you’ll be asked to do perform every day next week. I’ve been assigned the task of forcing a smile for a few seconds every day.
When the experiment wraps up next Friday, you’ll be emailed a reminder to log back on to the site and fill in a second questionnaire. The aim is to test which, if any, of the four techniques under investigation actually has an effect on mood. The results will be published on August 11th — and we’ll have them here.
“I have carried out many mass participation studies, but this is the most important. We are in the midst of a recession and it is vital that people keep their spirits high. This study will help identify the most effective way of putting a smile on someone’s face. We need as many people as possible to take part. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, male or female, or where in the world you live, please participate.”