Our research falls into two streams. First, theoretical research into the nature and measurement of subjective well-being (SWB).
Priority questions for 2020 include:
Second, applied research which asks: how can resources be best used right now to increase worldwide well-being? Our three projects for the year are:
More information can be found in our research agenda.
Joel McGuire joins the team
We are delighted to announce that Joel McGuire has joined the Happier Lives Institute as a Research Analyst. He will be working mainly on our applied research projects.
What we're reading
Can We Be Happier?: Evidence and Ethics
Richard Layard argues that the goal for a society must be the greatest possible all round happiness, and shows how each of us can become more effective creators of happiness, both as citizens and in our own organisations. Read an excerpt and interview in The Guardian.
Evaluation of the Action for Happiness course
A randomised control trial shows that the Action for Happiness course, which is run in hundreds of communities across the UK and around the world, results in a 1-point increase in life-satisfaction 2 months after the course ends.
The Science of Meditation
Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson cut through the ‘mindfulness’ hype, highlighting the most rigorous scientific findings on how meditation rewires our brains to improve focus, resilience, equanimity, and compassion. Also see John Halstead's post on the Effective Altruism Forum about the strength of the evidence on meditation as a treatment for anxiety and depression.
Is there a loneliness epidemic?
Despite the popularity of the claim, the team at Our World in Data find there is surprisingly no empirical support for the fact that loneliness is increasing, let alone spreading at epidemic rates.
The Third Pillar
Economist, Raghuram Rajan, concedes to the common notion that capitalism (and the state) erodes communities which leads to populist backlash. He proposes that economics should rethink its treatment of localism.