Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seattle Area Happiness Initiative launches survey to measure our region's well-being

Earlier this week, the Seattle Area Happiness Initiative — organized by our good friend John de Graaf (the keynote speaker at our last Spring Fundraising Gala) — launched a survey to learn how well we're doing in the nine domains of happiness mapped out by researchers around the world:
  1. Psychological well-being; 
  2. Physical health;
  3. Time or work-life balance;
  4. Social connection and community vitality;
  5. Education;
  6. Access to arts, culture and recreation;
  7. Environmental quality and access to nature;
  8. Good governance;
  9. Material well-being.
We've already tweeted links to it a couple of times on our Twitter feed, but we wanted to mention it here on The Advocate as well.

The introduction page explains the payoff for taking the the survey:
When you complete this survey, you will receive an instantaneous well-being score (!) for each of these domains and you will be able to compare your score with the median results for others who have taken the survey. You will find that the 135 questions in this survey will encourage you to think about your life in new ways and about what you can do to be happier.
I attended a presentation about the model the survey is based on — the Gross National Happiness Index — at last year's Seattle Green Festival, and found it very compelling. I can't do it justice in a blog post, but more information about the methodology is available from the Center for Bhutan Studies.

Conservatives may scoff at this effort, but that just goes to show how little they value the pursuit of happiness, which is one of the "unalienable rights" mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, one of our nation's most sacred documents.

We urge you to take the survey and find out your own well-being score. Personal data collected will be kept confidential and not shared with third parties.


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