Jay Evensen: Measuring happiness is a futile exercise

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  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 3:47 a.m.

    Jay ever for conviently reported Norway was #1, and Aemrica was only ranked 12th.
    Who were #2-#11 ?

    Sweden, Denmark, most of Europe, and Asia.

    They ALL have ONE thing in common -- Socialism.

    Jay once again, takes a pot shot at the Norweign oil money bein gused for "welfare" -- but as Screwdriver so quickly and accurately pointed out; Does oil money have to go to just five people (instead of the whole population)?

    The little jab is someone else is getting right, Conservatives don't want to believe they could be wrong, yet this whole article only proves it.

  • BroJoseph Ogden, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 4:07 a.m.

    l wouldnt dare compare Utah to Norway...Utah doesnt have an ocean,Utah fails to support its citizens with its policies for the disadvantaged. It esteems its politicians at the cost of its people and the "higher on the hill" you live" the more affluence is oozed. I know I once lived in Utah for 10 yrs and never regreted leaving, in fact I have never been happier

  • huggyface Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 10:11 p.m.

    If we can measure depression we should be able to measure happiness. Depression affects millions of people and billions of dollars are spent on treatment (medication and therapy).

    When we know more about what makes people happy, through credible research, then maybe we'll know how to better help people suffering from depression.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    The pursuit of happiness is just that, a never ending pursuit. As set my standard, I see my mistakes. The things that I need to redo. The projects that I thought could be easily done isn't what I can seem to do what I have in mind. So I say to my self, No one will notice. Than my wife sees what I have been doing and starts pointing out all the things wrong, and I do it all over and over again. They say practices makes perfect. I know that just because it looks good doesn't mean that it's right. I haven't given up, and I'm still trying. I met the enemy and the enemy is me.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    Maybe we need all to remember: "“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”
    ― A.A. Milne

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    re: Tyler D 10:01 p.m. Jan. 24

    **Mr. Evensen's main thesis seems to be that happiness is unmeasurable - "People who try to measure happiness might as well try nailing Jell-O to the wall***

    I disagree that happiness is not quantifiable. Happiness is reality divided by expectations.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    I like to read the results of Studies. It makes me happy to have a good laugh.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 26, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    There are no shortages of studies that pretend to accurately measure one thing or another. You can do one too if you like. Just come up with an arbitrary set of statistics and then do a top ten list.

    What does the amount of ice cream consumed per capita tell us about people? That they are happy because of ice cream is a "happy food?" That they are miserable because ice cream is a "comfort food?" Or maybe a proliferation of ice cream parlors is a sign of prosperity. Then again maybe it shows antisocial anxieties.

    Even though we know they are ridiculous we read them and quote them, anyway. Maybe that's because they reinforce what we already believe.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 25, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    So Norway is the happiest because they use their oil for their "welfare" state. A little jab there huh? Well, why shouldn't they use their oil money for whatever they want? Does oil money have to go to five people?

    And by the way Norway does have a king and uses it's oil money for the people just like Hugo Chaves get lambasted for every day in conservative news. Shouldn't conservatives be ripping on the King of Norway too?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 24, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    There is something oddly contradictory about this article. Mr. Evensen's main thesis seems to be that happiness is unmeasurable - "People who try to measure happiness might as well try nailing Jell-O to the wall." However, he then goes on to (rightly) list a few qualities (as opposed to circumstances) that likely contribute much to someone's sense of well being... things like service, generosity and treating people nicely.

    Those are all good points, but are they any less subject to measurement? Are those qualities so ethereal that they cannot also be captured by a well conducted survey?

    I personally applaud any effort to further our knowledge about ourselves and our world. When one of these endeavors proves to be flawed, the answer is not to give up such efforts altogether, but instead to keep trying to improve it.

    The pursuit of excellence, just-out-of-reach as it may always be, is not only the proper course of action in this case, but may also be a key component in an overall state of happiness Mr. Evensen wisely recognizes as a journey rather than a destination.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Utahns think about suicide more than other Americans, reported by the Deseret news.