Monday, 28 September 2009

Happy?

The ESRC, together with the MRC and a clutch of government departments, have launched a funding initiative for an interdisciplinary research group on 'subjective wellbeing', or 'happiness or life satisfaction as reported by individuals,' and how this relates to public policy. The turnaround on this is tight: they want expressions of interest by 16 Oct. However, this need only be a one page summary. Funds of up to £4.4 million (at 100 per cent full economic costing, at current prices) are available over a five year period. More detail here

1 comment:

  1. From Prof Laurence Goldstein:
    The blurb says "Subjective well-being is happiness or life satisfaction as reported by individuals". The contrast must be with 'objective well-being'. Objectively -- as judged by rational outsiders -- you may be doing badly, but you judge things differently -- you are satisfied with your life; you are, as John Stuart Mill (nearly) said, happy as a pig in shit. The blurb continues that we need "further investment in research to underpin public policy development that will enhance the well-being of citizens". It is talking here about "subjective well being". So are the funders proposing to spend £4.4M on research into how individuals can better deceive themselves into thinking that they are better off than they really are? Is the project about promoting self-delusion? If anyone can throw any light on this, that would be really helpful.

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