Thursday, February 17, 2005 News - Features - Happiness is no laughing matter News - Features - Happiness is no laughing matter

Happiness is no laughing matter


IF YOU WERE to believe the advertising agencies, sometimes it was egg-shaped, sometimes a cigar called Hamlet, while John Lennon assured us it was a warm gun. It is the thing we desire most, but it can’t be bought. We’re talking, of course, about that elusive concept known as happiness.

Happiness has always been closely bound up with economics, national or personal: as far back as the 1930s, after all, Will Fyffe was lamenting the price of it, as engendered by whisky, in his song, Twelve and a Tanner a Bottle:

So hoo can a fella be happy
When happiness costs
such a lot?

But happiness, if not necessarily in its distilled and bottled form, is coming under renewed scrutiny by economists, psychologists and social scientists. At Princeton University, New Jersey, a team led by psychologist Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, has been working on a "national happiness audit" to complement gross domestic product in seeking a more accurate indicator of a nation’s well-being than


Post a Comment

<< Home