Can Happiness Data Help Countries Evaluate the Success of Public Policies?

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Aug. 12 2014 7:13 PM

The Pursuit of Happiness Studies

The Gist wonders if we can truly study national differences in attitudes toward happiness.

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Are worldwide happiness indexes bunk?

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Kamyar Adl/Flickr.

Listen to Episode 69 of Slate’s The Gist:

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Can gathering happiness data help countries evaluate the success of public policies? For our regular segment “Is This Bulls--t,” we examine the value of happiness studies with Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker. Also, Arab studies professor Justin Stearns explains how the Muslim world interprets extremist calls for a return to the caliphate. For the Spiel, Mike remembers Robin Williams in light of our recent report on comedy and mental health.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.

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