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Re: [xmca] established fact: x per cent of people are happy

Dear Andy,

This paper by Daniel Kahneman and Alan Krueger addresses your question, I think:

Developments in the Measurement
of Subjective Well-Being
Daniel Kahneman and Alan B. Krueger
Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 20, Number 1—Winter 2006 — Pages 3–24


According to these authors, self reported measures may be not that bad, after all.


On Nov 10, 2009, at 11:44 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

I heard another one of those silly reports on the radio just now. Never mind what it was about, but it reported that x% of people who did y are happy, whilst of who didn't, only z% are happy, and the reporter went on to refer to it as an "established fact" that x made people happy. This "established fact" was gained from people filling out survey forms, "checking all the boxes" and returning them in the mail.

It is over 100 years, isn't it, since mainstream, positivist science (let alone real science) rejected self-reporting of mental states as a legitimate way of doing psychology. How come it's still going on? Is this taught at universities, or is it just marketing firms moving in on the territory?


Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea

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David Preiss

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