« The strong demand for charlatans | Main | A benefit of performance pay »

May 28, 2012


Jimmy Hill

I completely agree with your last paragraph.

As with all happiness research my first thought is always isn't this just utilitarianism dressed up in new clothes?

Theres more to life than being happy...

Will Davies

Durkheim recognised something along these lines in Suicide (1897). Studying statistics on suicide rates across Europe, he found that it was higher amongst protestants than catholics, and increased during periods of *both* unusually rapid industrialisation and recession. Hence, capitalism's influence on suicide levels did not only derive from the emiseration of the poor, but from the upheaval it created, both upwards and downwards. Wellbeing studies appear to confirm aspects of this, by showing that human happiness can be at best temporarily lifted by a sudden increase in wealth, but permanently damaged by major upheavals to one's life, be they 'good' (winning the lottery) or 'bad' (losing one's job). So, yes, people seem to prefer predictability over uncertainty.


Too true.
I have long been a miserable bastard and I delight in it.


Completely agree re "choice", but it's a matter of trivial choices squeezing out the opportunity to make more meaningful choices about one's life. See http://tiny.cc/notconsumer .


I think the missing point is that even in a free society you still have to choose to be free, and in a lot of situations freedom is a luxury, therefore its cost can be high.

As for Happiness, ive never been in anyway content with the whole idea.


I don't think freedom is overrated, but too often there's nobody to see you enjoy it, which spoils the experience.


Maybe there is devil in the detail - that detail being "in the short term" regarding women's happiness?

We know from more extreme events that freed slaves have exhibited euphoria at their freedom, followed by unhappiness as they try to integrate into a society that is only just coming to terms with their new status...

It seems to fit the data that something similar may be at work here. Not to mention of course that you need to take overall happiness levels into account, which the paper does a bit imperfectly perhaps.

Frank Upton

If they 'control' for all those other factors, they are not sctually doing research but producing a foregone conclusion in order to support their pre-judgement of the matter. You can get any result you want if you select enough factors to control for. More strictly, there is a logical fallacy in that economic freedom may make people richer, live longer etc. on average and to filter these effects out is to create a false result. I don't see how one could love economic freedom independently of the effects of economic freedom.

leather bed

We perceptive from added acute contest that freed disciplinarian accept apparent bliss at their freedom, followed by dejection as they try to accommodate into a association that is alone just advancing to agreement with their new status.

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad