Psychologists Introduce A New Concept For Measuring National Happiness

Psychologists Introduce A New Concept For Measuring National Happiness

via Forbes by Mark Travers

A new article published in the Journal of Positive Psychology explores some of the lesser-known intricacies of cross-national comparisons of happiness. For one, the researchers suggest it’s not enough to look at how often people experience happiness internally, but that outward expressions of happiness are important as well. They also suggest that the things people do to maintain their happiness don’t always promote the happiness of others or the group as a whole.

“In this paper, we introduce the concept of ‘societal emotional environment’: the emotional climate of a society, operationalized as the degree to which positive and negative emotions are expressed in a society,” state the researchers, led by Kuba Krys of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The inspiration for this work, according to the researchers, came from the observation that some cultures, like Confucian Asians, tend to be more subdued in their expression of positive emotions (for example, preferring emotional states such as serenity and calmness) while other cultures, such as Latin American cultures, prefer to express high arousal positive emotions such as elation and excitement.

“The cultural differences in emotion expression are particularly interesting when one considers societal rankings of life satisfaction,” say the researchers. “Confucian countries tend to occupy lower positions of these rankings whereas Latin Americans are typically near the top.”

In other words, national happiness may be less about what we feel and more about what we express…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE