Monday, July 03, 2006

"Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is
while you are thinking about it."
--David A. Schkade & Daniel Kahneman on life satisfaction

I am out-of-sorts and grumpy today over a lack of barbeques in my life. July 4th looms large, and everyone but me, it seems, has a date for grilling with friends. How timely, then, to come across some research that reassures me that barbeques attended (or dates, income, age, close supervision at work, and fringe benefits) are not good measures of an overall sense of well-being.

These authors asked "Does living in California make people happy?" They found that large samples of students in the Midwest and California self-reported life satisfaction at a similar level no matter their region. In another part of the qustionnaire, however, these same participants felt that Californians, on average, would outshine Midwesterners in a day-to-day happiness sort of way.

In other words, my neighbors, currently barbequeing on their small patio below my window, are no happier than I am sitting here grill-less in Denver. Nevertheless, I would like to be on a beach right now in California cooking hamburgers over an open fire with a fun bunch of Midwesterners.

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