Articles on Wellbeing
While wellbeing-related research will
occasionally appear in many other journals, it appears
regularly or constantly in these:
Wellbeing & Public
If happiness is so important, then why don't
more governments try to directly measure it and create
policies to increase it? The well-being division of the
New Economics Foundation (NEF) website is a great resource
for governments on this issue and a must for anyone
wanting to inform themselves on the question above.
Wellbeing & Economics
Rather than attempting to repeat all of the
good work done by Hugh Ferguson on this, I highly
recommend you visit his
There have been a lot of happiness studies over the
last 50 years or so. Data on average national happiness is
now becoming available for most countries. Below are some
links to websites that collect and summarise the data.
- The World Database of Happiness
(headed by Ruut Veenhoven) is a continually updated
collection of happiness studies from around the world.
Check out the 'Correlational Findings' section to
infer some of the causes of happiness.
- The World Values Survey
website is very comprehensive. It combines the results
of a very large standard survey that is administered
around the world. Because of the range of questions,
and the consistency of those questions across
countries, there is a wealth of relationships to
analyse here - including relationships between
happiness and life-satisfaction with other variables.
The best part is that you can access all of the raw
data, so you can run your own models etc.
- The Happy Planet Index Map
shows the average years of happy life each country
produces per unit of planetary resources consumed.
Many cognitive scientists believe that we can
unlock some of the mysteries of wellbeing by experimenting
on the brain. Below are links to the best affective
neuroscience labs in the world.
- The Hedonia Trygfonden Research
Group (headed by Morten Kringelbach) is
trying to find out more about how pleasure and pain
interact with our other cognitive processes.
- The Affective Neuroscience and
Biopsychology Lab (headed by Kent
Berridge) is trying to discover more about how the
neural processes of emotion, motivation, learning and
reward interact and effect our behaviour. Check out
the various studies teasing apart 'wanting' and
'liking' (desire and pleasure).
- The Lab for Affective Neuroscience
(headed by Richard Davidson) is attempting to discover
the relationships between various neural mechanisms
and the emotions of normal people. Check out the large
body of left brain/right brain studies.
- The Affective Neuroscience Laboratory
(headed by Diego Pizzagalli) are also investigating
neural mechanism related to emotions and moods. They
specialise in identifying different types of
depression and their patterns of response to various
- The Symbiotic Project on Affective
Neuroscience (headed by Brian Knutson)
combines psychological theory with experimental
neuroscience to learn about the neural mechanisms
- Professor Daniel Kahneman has several links to
viedeos of talks he has given about wellbeing. See
- The Positive Psychology Center
(headed by Marty Seligman) is dedicated to helping
people make the most of their lives by researching
what makes people satisfied with various aspects of
their lives and their life as a whole. If you are a
questionnaire lover, then check out the large range on
this website - find out how satisfied you are with
your life (and compare it to others because nothing
makes people happier than realising they are happier
than others!) here.
- The New Zealand Association of Positive
Psychology website has some book reviews, links
to research by New Zealanders and to upcoming
conferences. You can also register for free to get
involved in some of the debate between members!
- A great general site for learning about
positive psychology and also how to teach school
students about wellbeing and positive psychology. See
- Supposedly where people, science and happiness
meet, MyHappy is a fairly
extensive but very poppy website dedicated to getting
the science behind happiness 'out there'.
- A (forthcoming) popular documentary about
happiness. Check out the trailers here.
- The BBC has several TV programs and news items
on Happiness. They are easily accessible from here.
- A recording of a radio show in which Robert
Soloman discussed happiness. Download it here.