Critique of the Measurement of Happiness

Dan Ariely, MIT, USA
Uri Gneezy, University of San Diego, USA
Moshe Hoffman, University of Chicago, USA
Measuring happiness has become not only a topic of interest for psychologists, but a popular tool in public policy. After all, if policy is about maximizing happiness, what could be better than asking people about it directly? In this work we add some cautionary notes to this issue, suggesting that the interpretation of such happiness ratings might be premature, and sometimes misleading. To illustrate our point we conducted two types of studies: one addressing the question of using happiness scales, and the other addressing the construct of happiness more generally.
[ to cite ]:
Dan Ariely, Uri Gneezy, and Moshe Hoffman (2007) ,"Critique of the Measurement of Happiness", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 355-358.