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Seeking happiness

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The percentages of non-Hispanic white men and women, by level of marital fidelity, who report having experienced poor mental health--defined as "stress, depression, and problems with emotions"--in the month prior to being surveyed. All responses are from 2002 onward (N = 4,677): The gap, at 6.7 points, between men who cheat and those who don't... Read More
In response to GSS data showing a positive correlation between marriage and mental health, commenter Marlborough County writes: That's quite reasonable, and he's correct about the link between social class and marriage and thus also between social class and mental health. To the contrary, mo' money does not appear to lead to mo' problems, at... Read More
The percentages of people, by sex and number of biological children, who report having experienced poor mental health--defined as "stress, depression, and problems with emotions"--in the month prior to being surveyed. To avoid racial confounding, only non-Hispanic whites are considered. All responses are from 2002 onward (N = 6,961): Whatever the cause and effect may... Read More
The percentages of people, by sex and marital status, who report having experienced poor mental health--defined as "stress, depression, and problems with emotions"--in the month prior to being surveyed. To avoid racial confounding, only non-Hispanic whites are considered. All responses are from 2002 onward (N = 6,521): Eat, anxiety meds, pray, anxiety meds, love. GSS... Read More
Last year Reuters-Ipsos ran a poll asking participants to choose a term that best described themselves from a list of twelve responses. One of those is "Feminist". The following graph shows the percentages of female respondents, by age, who chose it over the other eleven possible answers (n = 6,269): The other options are Democrat,... Read More
Happiness quotients, by race, computed by taking the percentages of GSS participants who self-describe as "very happy" and subtracting from them the percentages who say they're "not too happy", presented in both table and graph formats. The higher the score, the happier the group. For contemporary relevance all responses are from 2000 onward (n =... Read More
In 2002 and 2012 the GSS queried married respondents on their incomes relative to that of their spouse's incomes. Cross-referencing it with a self-report on personal happiness doesn't quite shake out the way I guessed it would have. Due to a modest total sample size (n = 691) across six categories, I didn't attempt to... Read More
Oh, so you say all you want is to just be happy? By way of ordinary least squares, here are the multiple regression coefficients for nine variables that are, in the conventional wisdom, arguably putative predictors of happiness, with the obligatory qualifier that some component of sunniness, of yet undefined magnitude, is innate. For contemporary... Read More
In a post on the British government's push to keep people working into their seventies, Parapundit's Randall Parker excerpted remarks from a senior aide:I wondered if there was much in the way of detectable differences in feelings of self-reported loneliness and happiness strictly by age. Obviously, a host of factors other than age influence how... Read More
OneSTDV wonders:Arriving at this conclusion, unfortunately, demonstrates how problematic relying on a few anecdotal data points to arrive at generalized conceptions often is. On top of a prohibitively small sample size, selection bias is also at work here. Robert Lindsay summarizes the relevant scientific literature as follows:The GSS shows that the least intelligent are the... Read More
From City Slickers to The Great Labowski and from The Purpose Driven Life to The Selfish Gene, the question of purpose in life is not just one for philosophers, theologians, and psychologists--it has strong popular appeal as well. It's perhaps easiest to define purpose by looking at its absence. The Inductivist recently reported on nihilism... Read More
As I've been on a happiness trip as of late, it seemed natural to look at happiness levels by occupation. The GSS uses the international standard classification of occupations (ISCO88) to record the occupations of respondents and routinely asks a three point question on self-assessed personal happiness. To facilitate comprehension, scores are inverted so that... Read More
It's almost so stereotypical as to be beyond parody, but I've been hooking up with a girl over the last few weeks who constitutes my first interracial experience (no home base, though). She's black, 18, great body, but she's not relationship material for a host of reasons that I won't bore you with (and are... Read More
Are you an absolutist or a relativist when it comes to defining contentment and happiness (or telos, if you prefer)? Is there one definitional formula, or are there countless possible combinations leading to the same answer?I'd describe myself as a relative absolutist. That is, there is one specific optimal formula for realizing happiness for each... Read More
There is one general and two specific points I'd like to make in relation to the previous post. First, in looking at the relationship between fertility and self-described happiness, there are many things associated with having children that are also associated with happiness. The purpose here is to provide a little more empirical insight into... Read More
Arthur Brooks has argued the future of the GOP is bright because conservatives are more fecund than liberals are. Half Sigma modified that assertion by showing that the fertility gap by political philosophy did not translate to party affiliation. Self-described conservatives, whether Republican or Democrat, have more kids than self-described liberals, Republican or Democrat, do.... Read More
++Addition++It's pointed out in the comments that a decade ago nearly three-fourths of the members of the National Academy of Sciences were self-described atheists. Among GSS respondents, Wordsum scores for atheists are relatively clustered at 0-1 correct answers and 9-10 correct answers. The standard deviation value is widest for them. While 12.2% of all respondents... Read More
Agnostic's recent post evincing justification for two pieces of conventional wisdom--that liberal women are more likely than conservative women to hit the bar scene, and that the bar scene is a good place for guys to hunt for flings--gave me an itching to confirm my own stereotype that women who frequent bars usually aren't worth... Read More
++Addition++The racial percentages have been adjusted slightly thanks to astute commentary. Please see the explanation at the end of this post.---CNN and Money magazine just announced the 100 best small cities in the US to live in. With populations of 50,000-300,000, most cities in major metropolitan areas that border the major city that anchors the... Read More