Happiness is rising around the world: study; American kids, dumber than dirt
Date: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 @ 00:02:41 GMT
People in most countries around the world are happier these days,
according to newly released data from the World Values Survey based at
the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
Data from representative national surveys conducted from 1981 to 2007
show the happiness index rose in an overwhelming majority of nations
"It's a surprising finding," said U-M political scientist Ronald Inglehart, who directs the World Values Surveys and is the lead author of an article on the topic to be published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. "It's widely believed that it's almost impossible to raise an entire country's happiness level."
The 2007 wave of the surveys also provides a ranking of 97 nations containing 90 percent of the world's population. The results indicate that Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Zimbabwe the unhappiest. The United States ranks 16th on the list, immediately after New Zealand.
During the past 26 years, the World Values Surveys have asked more than 350,000 people how happy they are, using the same two questions.
"Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy, not at all happy?" And, "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?"
Combining responses to these two questions, Inglehart and colleagues constructed an index of subjective well-being that reflects both happiness and general life satisfaction.
In the 52 countries for which a substantial time series is available (covering 17 years on average), this index rose in 40 countries and fell in only 12. The average percentage of people who said they were "very happy" increased by almost seven points...
Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news134044847.html
American kids, dumber than dirt
Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I have this ongoing discussion with a longtime reader who also just so happens to be a longtime Oakland high school teacher, a wonderful guy who's seen generations of teens come and generations go and who has a delightful poetic sensibility and quirky outlook on his life and his family and his beloved teaching career.
And he often writes to me in response to something I might've written about the youth of today, anything where I comment on the various nefarious factors shaping their minds and their perspectives and whether or not, say, EMFs and junk food and cell phones are melting their brains and what can be done and just how bad it might all be.
His response: It is not bad at all. It's absolutely horrifying.
My friend often summarizes for me what he sees, firsthand, every day and every month, year in and year out, in his classroom. He speaks not merely of the sad decline in overall intellectual acumen among students over the years, not merely of the astonishing spread of lazy slackerhood, or the fact that cell phones and iPods and excess TV exposure are, absolutely and without reservation, short-circuiting the minds of the upcoming generations. Of this, he says, there is zero doubt...
Full article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2007/10/24/notes102407.DTL