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Mar 26, 2024

"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." --Anaïs Nin

Defining World Happiness

Each year, the World Happiness Report ranks 146 countries by their level of happiness. Scandinavian countries are usually found at the top of the ranks, while war-torn or deeply impoverished countries are generally at the bottom. In recent years, psychologists have been looking at how cultural bias affects these rankings. Authors of a 2022 study invited: "How can one reasonably conclude that country A is happier than country B, when happiness is being measured according to the way people in country A think about happiness?" Researchers say incorporating cultural perspectives could potentially give us a more accurate representation of global happiness. How so? It appears individualistic cultures, where happiness is seen as personal experiences of excitement and fun are assessed quite differently from communal cultures where happiness is considered a shared experience. Rather than just focusing on individual feelings and life satisfaction, psychologists propose incorporating collective and interrelated happiness metrics in surveys. By applying a culturally sensitive lens, we can create undefined, forever-evolving, and more accurate maps of global happiness.

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