Talking about happiness, it could be the case that different people interpret happiness in different ways. For me, happiness means feeling good, enjoying life, and think to myself, “What a wonderful world”! Happiness has many dimensions; we feel different at different times of the day, when we are with different people, and when we are doing different things. A study done in 2003 by Kahneman et al, in which 1000 working women in Texas were asked how they felt at different times of the day. The results are reproduced here.
According to the results, Americans felt least happy while commuting, and the highest index is for sex. This could obviously vary for different societies, and I don’t know which activity makes Maldivians happier.
The same study determined, how happy they were spending time with different people, and showed that they were happiest while spending time with their friends (3.3), and least happy while with their boss (2.0).
Layard raises an interesting point, that people in the west have become much richer, work much less, have more holidays, travel more, live longer, are healthier, but, still they haven’t got happier. So what shall we do, to make us happier?