Quantifying Happiness


This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with “Dr. Happiness.” Ed Diener, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, has written extensively about what factors influence psychological wealth and well-being. We’ll talk with him about his research, how he got others in the field to take him seriously when he 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. He’ll tell us about how the United Nations, policy makers in the US and across the world are working to use this kind of research to influence public policy decisions and how for him the study of happiness is a family affair.

Professor Deiner has been awarded the Distinguished Scientist Lifetime Career Award by the American Psychological Association, is 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.