How do you measure happiness?

Are “happiness” and “well-being” / “quality of life” the same thing?

Whereas the first one can be summarized as a feeling or a general state of mind, the second can be measured with objective indicators at both individual and group level: how healthy are you and your daily environment? how educated are you and correlatively what type of economic opportunities do you have access to? How safe from crime, war, or arbitrary arrest are you?

However, do these indicators measure “happiness” or do they assess an environment that theoretically provides opportunities for happiness?

This question is at the heart of the “Louisiana Paradox”: by most objective measures of “well-being”, Louisiana sits at the bottom of every ranking, yet whenever “happiness” is measured, we consistently rank as one of the happiest states in the Union.

Comments are closed.