Dan Weijers

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Wellbeing Links

Journals Publishing Articles on Wellbeing
While wellbeing-related research will occasionally appear in many other journals, it appears regularly or constantly in these:
Wellbeing & Public Policy
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 website.

Happiness Statistics
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.
Happiness Maps
  • The Happy Planet Index Map shows the average years of happy life each country produces per unit of planetary resources consumed.
Affective Neuroscience
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 treatments.
  • The Symbiotic Project on Affective Neuroscience (headed by Brian Knutson) combines psychological theory with experimental neuroscience to learn about the neural mechanisms underpinning emotions.
Positive Psychology
  • Professor Daniel Kahneman has several links to viedeos of talks he has given about wellbeing. See them here.
  • 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 it here.

Multimedia Happiness

  • 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.
Are there any problems with this page? Please let me know if there are!
email: danweijers[at]gmail[dot]com