Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keep Your Studies Off My Self

Let's face it, I'm fort-five at the apex, facing downhill, and it ain't all pretty. But according the recent Stevenson and Wolfers study my failure to achieve bliss is due to, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. The study authors claim that in the 1970s men reported to be generally less happy then women, but now the reverse is true. But I don't buy it. First of all, happiness does not lend itself to narration, for either gender, so the question is hard to answer honestly if the questionee is not happy at that particular time. This is particularly true for men. Women often reflect and ask themselves if they are happy. But you ask that question to men, and you are going to get a different answer depending on whether their most recent needs have been met or not, and we're talking here, basically, whether they've been fed, laid, or their digestion system is operating properly. For women, there's a few more factors, and the range of factors have most definitely changed since the 1970s.

So I would argue, that generally people are less happy. Perhaps that's because we've traded quality time for crap. But whatever the reason, the state of the world, or the degree of equality for women, is not responsible for my personal satisfaction. I know what I want to make me happy, but I also know that you can't always get what you want, and therefore must learn to be happy in spite of it.


  1. What was that happiness study that said Norwegians were the happiest people because they had low expectations? I would call it gratitude for what you have rather than low expectations...

  2. Oh my - It makes me wonder if they ever substitute the word "content" for "happy" in these studies and if it would change the results?