Measuring the Unmeasurable

Natures reports on the latest scientific effort at measuring happiness.

There is further debate as to whether trying to do something about people's happiness is feasible in principle. Some researchers favour the idea that people have a 'hedonic setpoint' that stays remarkably constant in the face of bouquets and brickbats. Such a setpoint need not in principle be unalterable, but its alteration might require an approach with a pharmacological component, raising the problem that one of the things we value about happiness is its authenticity. Another is its autonomy. Governments may guarantee citizens freedom in their pursuit of happiness, but we bridle against the idea of its ever being enforced.

Further it seems that
This contributed to the notion of a 'hedonic setpoint' to which people return no matter what life throws their way. And based on studies showing similar levels of reported happiness in twins, the setpoint appeared to be genetically determined.

Determinism triumphs! Not too happy about that! :(

1 comment:

Ashutosh said...

I would agree with that! Because many surveys seem to indicate that happiness has nothing to do with wealth, family or friendship, or success.