Encore: Quantifying Happiness


This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with “Dr. Happiness” earlier this spring. Ed Diener, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, has written extensively about what factors influence psychological wealth and well-being. He talks with us about his research, how he got others in the field to take him seriously when we started trying to quantify something so abstract and what makes life satisfaction so vital to our health.

During this episode of Focus, we also talk with him about what it really means to be happy and how researchers go about quantifying these things. 

Professor Diener was awarded the Distinguished Scientist Lifetime Career Award by the American Psychological Association earlier this spring. He’s the author of three books, and in addition to his many achievements, founded one of the most acclaimed and widely read journals on the study of psychology, “Perspectives on Psychological Science.” He is also listed on the Institute of Scientific Information’s most cited list with more than 65,000 scientific articles quoting his work.

What makes you happy? Tell us in five words. Post in the comments section below or post on our Facebook or Twitter page @Focus580.