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What does happiness data mean? Daniel J. Benjamin and Ori Heffetz

What does happiness data mean? Daniel J. Benjamin and Ori Heffetz

In this episode we talk about happiness. Imagine you get a survey in the mail, and in one question you are asked to rate your level of happiness on a scale from 0 to 10. Let’s say you answer a seven. – but what exactly does that number mean? What do you think about? Do you think about the present moment, or do you evaluate your whole life? Do you consider only yourself, or also your family and close friends? So why does it matter? Well I might matter if the data in the survey is used to evaluate the effects of certain policies, or how unemployment impacts life satisfaction and so on. Recently we were visited by two prominent scholars in the field of happiness studies, economists Daniel J Benjamin, professor at University of southern California and Ori Heffetz associate professor at Cornell university in New York and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They gave a presentation titled What does happiness data mean, and afterwards this conversation was recorded.

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