Robert Kennedy's 1968 University of Kansas address* will understand that the concept of using something aside from plain old economics to determine a country's development and wellness is years old, however this had not filtered through to British politicians previously. It also seems to use the work of Richard Easterlin (popular for the "Easterlin Paradox")-- the fundamental concept being that Western societies are getting richer (on average) however not happier (although you need to keep in mind that this is the simplified explanation of the Easterlin Paradox-- if you wish to read a more in-depth account, see Easterlin's recent short article called The Joy Paradox Revisited.)If you're unsure about the value of determining national well-being and progress utilizing non-economic steps, it's worth reflecting on the argument that they might have explained (and maybe even anticipated) the anti-social and criminal habits we experienced in the recent English riots, which if we 'd had a way of determining national well-being we might have established policies which would have prevented them. On the other hand, if you think that the riots were merely the work a lot of rampaging young punks hell-bent on triggering trouble, harmful property, and stealing as much they might get away with, you're probably not that encouraged by psychological descriptions for habits anyway.Rather than consult

well-being experts(which there are quite a couple of, however only 4 amongst the 40-odd members of the ONS's Advisory Forum )and examine the growing body of favorable psychology literature on life complete satisfaction, thriving, joy and all the other synonyms for well-being, the ONS embarked on a 6 month nationwide assessment exercise because, in the National Statistician Jil Mathieson's own words, the only method to develop these steps is to ask people what matters most to them. She's entitled to her opinions naturally, but as I said back in February, to me it looks like an incredible wild-goose chase, effort, and cash. The 'outcomes'seem to bear this out.In truth, people were asked to pick the things that matter to them from a predefined list of items(see tables listed below ), and after that to pick those which ought to be shown in a measure of national wellness. Half-way through the procedure a modified consultation document was released. The items included or altered are marked like this. Original Consultation File What things in life matter to you? Please pick all that apply.Revised Assessment File What things in life matter to you? Please select all that

apply.Having good connections with buddies and loved ones Having excellent connectionswith pals and loved ones Having an excellent relationship with a partner or partner Task complete satisfaction and financial security Present and future

conditions of the environment Present and future

conditions of the environment Personal and cultural activities, including caring and volunteering Personal and cultural activities, consisting of

  • volunteering Unpaid caring, such as for children or other family
  • members Ability to have a say on regional and nationwide concerns
  • Ability to have a say on regional and national problems Spirituality or religious beliefs Commonly used words in the nationwide wellness argument Does This Make Sense?According to the preliminary report, the National Statistician's
    • reflections on the nationwide argument on
    • determining national well-being," The dispute has actually highlighted
    • that the important things that matter one of the most are our health, relationships, work, and
    • the environment. These are also themes that most of participants agree need to be
    • shown in a measure of nationwide well-being, with the addition of education and training"
      • (priced estimate from page 9 ). Simply put, the so-called national debate has actually been a waste of time, effort,
        • and cash-- it hasn't told us anything about well-being that we didn't
          • already understand. What's more it seems to miss out some

          essential factors such as trust and social cohesion. The consultation wasn't a statistical exercise and that results aren't necessarily representative from an analytical perspective, they're still being utilized as a basis for deciding national well-being measures. This is illogical. If the outcomes aren't representative then it wasn't a national assessment, and they should not be utilized as if they were. Otherwise there is a danger that the wrong measures( and ultimately policies )could be developed.Take, for instance, the themes which emerged from discussions with young people (ages not

          specified ):" A few of the styles that emerged from the main dispute showed up in our conversations with teenagers, such as relationships with good friends and loan. However, the following themes, not as common in our other discussions, emerged strongly: Innovation-- smart phones, ipods, social networking sites Home entertainment-- truth tv, celeb gossip Image-- the ideal clothes, shoes, makeup and hairdo Food and consume"If this is exactly what matters most to our young people and we support this in our wellness measurement and policy-making, then clearly we'll get the society we deserve.Do People Act Rationally?As has actually been pointed out in another current ONS report by Alison Spence, Matthew Powell, and Abbie Self, the"disputes about well-being have been rather uncertain as the concern of 'what'wellness is has actually often been conflated with the concern of'how'well-being can be determined."At the threat of specifying the apparent, there are some underlying presumptions running throughout the ONS work that i) people act rationally and ii)providing individuals more of what they want will enhance their wellness. In short, the assessment hasn't moved us any closer to a precise measure of nationwide wellness than we

          • were prior to it began. Keep in mind too that the ONS wishes to catch kids and
          • youths's wellness, subjective wellness,
          • financial well-being, environmental well-being(in the form
          • of natural capital)and

          sustainability measures. We remain in threat of winding up with a total mishmash of'wellness steps 'designed by committees that do not actually get the job done they were plannedto do, which is to assist establish and evaluate policy to enhance wellness. Either that or the ONS will go back to skilled opinion and neglect what the consultees said. Which they could have done last November and conserved ₤ 2m. Inning accordance with the ONS a proposed list of domains and measurements for the measurement of well-being, and the wellness measures themselves, will be released later on this year.Easterlin, R. A., McVey, L., Switek, M., Sawangfa, O., & Zweig, J.(2010). The joy-- earnings paradox revisited. PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(52), 22463-22468.

!Positive LifeEasterlin paradox,Economy,Education,Educational assessment,Happiness,Positive psychology,Quality of life,Richard Easterlin,Welfare economics,Well-being,Wellness
          Robert Kennedy's 1968 University of Kansas address* will understand that the concept of using something aside from plain old economics to determine a country's development and wellness is years old, however this had not filtered through to British politicians previously. It also seems to use the work of...