Thursday, September 29, 2011

Measuring Emotional Reactions Monetarily

Why is marriage worth -200,000 a year? Why will having children make you unhappy? Why does happiness from winning the lottery take two years to arrive? Why does time heal the pain of divorce of the death of a loved one - but not unemployment? Everybody wants to be happy. But how much happiness - precisely - will each life choice bring? Should I get married? Am I really going to feel happy about the career that I picked? How can we decide not only which choice is better for us, but how much better it is for us?

The Happiness Equation describes how we can measure emotional reactions to different life experiences and presents them in ways to which we can relate. How, for instance, monetary values can be put on things that can't be bought or sold in the marketplace - such as marriage, friendship, even death - so that we can objectively rank them in order of preference. It also explains why some things matter more to our happiness than others (e.g. why seeing friends is worth more than a Ferrari) while others are worth almost nothing (like sunny weather). Nick Powdthavee - whose work on happiness has been discussed on both the Undercover Economist and Freakanomics blogs - brings the reader cutting-edge research on how we value our happiness in a witty and engaging style.

Read this article to get a taste of what is in the book. 

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