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Health Care

Experienced Well-Being Could Inform Policy Making

A new report says data about self-reported feelings are useful markers for policymakers working to improve living and working conditions for populations.

(MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Clara Ritger
December 4, 2013

Data about self-reported well-being could help policymakers looking to improve overall population happiness, a new report finds.

The National Research Council found that knowing markers of a population's contentment, joy, frustration, and stress can help shape policies such as end-of-life care, commuting, child-custody laws, and city planning.

"The most compelling case for gathering data on experienced well-being is to identify particular populations that are suffering and to shed light on ways to alleviate that suffering," said Arthur Stone, chairman of the committee that wrote the report and a professor at Stony Brook University.

 

The study was requested by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and the U.K. Economic and Social Research Council.

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