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What is the optimum gender split for productivity? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

More productive, less happy: how the office gender split affects work

Once commonplace, the phenomenon of all-female or all-male workplaces have largely gone the way of the buggy whip. Many of the benefits of this increased diversity might be difficult to measure and quantify…
Don’t confuse happy individuals with happy societies. Minerva Studio

Beyond GDP: happiness is about more than just individuals

Many readers of this piece will be aware that economists are rethinking the role of happiness and GDP. They question facile assumptions about economic growth alone being good for us. What’s the good of…
Is the right to pursue happiness equally available to all Americans? Josh Hallett

The fragile American Dream: insights from the economics of happiness

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
Having a ball: How politicians can make smiley happy people. seanbjack

How to shape economic policy when we move beyond GDP

The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems – the problems of…
There’s an app for that. Camdiluv

Six wearables and apps to improve health and happiness

The age of the wearable is fast upon us, and many of the new products we’re going to see in the next 12 months will be all about health and happiness. The New York Times recently predicted that soon some…
Is morality – and happiness – determined by how you affect the people around you? Shutterstock

Telling right from wrong: why is utilitarianism under attack?

It is a word we hear from time to time, but few of us know what it means. Utilitarianism is the method most people use to decide whether an action is right or wrong. We decide the moral merits of what…
Once people reach a certain threshold of material comfort, extra money makes very little difference. Lotus Carroll/Flickr

Can money buy happiness?

If survey data are to be trusted, there’s a surprisingly weak relationship between money and happiness. As national incomes rise, happiness does not increase. Consider this: happiness in the United States…
Temptation is everywhere. Vivian Viola

Losing weight might make you healthier but not happier

Supermodel Kate Moss' quip that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” captured the sense in society that being thin is the recipe for happiness. Obesity causes a range of health problems, including…
Football’s growth, while based on the game’s intrinsic nature, is also indebted to the World Cup. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

In a globalised world, the football World Cup is a force for good

FIFA, world football’s governing body, is not a perfect multinational corporation. It would be quite naïve to envisage that the World Cup should have the capacity to bring world peace, fix global inequality…
If you would like to see a large number of desperately poor people enjoy the joy of a World Cup victory, you should cheer for Nigeria. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Stuck for a World Cup team? Shoot for the happiness dividend

Let’s be realistic. Australia is the lowest ranked of the 32 teams in the World Cup, and despite a very creditable performance in its first match against Chile, its chances of making it out of the group…
Celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced a split after 10 years of marriage. EPA/Britta Pedersen & Jose Coelho

The science of romance – can we predict a breakup?

Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin seemed to have the perfect marriage until their “conscious uncoupling” earlier this year. Was the split destined to happen? What…
Chocolate heaven. Charlie Dave

Why chocolate really is the secret to happiness

Money may not buy happiness or grow on trees but when it comes to chocolate, it seems you can have both. Chocolate really does grow on trees and the chemical feel-good factor comes from the world’s most…
Can the pursuit of happiness as an evolutionary phenomenon really be explained to a scientific standard? www.shutterstock.com

Wired for happiness? Evolutionary psychology falls short of science

Has evolution wired you to pursue happiness? Some researchers think so. The granddaddy of positive psychology Martin Seligman draws on evolutionary theory – or at least its bastard offspring, evolutionary…

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