Trust in Government and Happiness
Happiness Index Analysis
For our analysis of the Happiness Index data we analyzed how marital status and trust in local and national government affect people’s placement of themselves on Cantril’s ladder. We looked at data from Seattle University students, University of Washington students, all respondents to the Happiness Index Survey, and respondents in the United States. We chose to look at marital status and trust in government, both national and local, because we wanted to observe trust between people and between organizations and see if this had a significant impact on happiness.
We found that across all groups, Seattle University students, University of Washington students, all respondents to the Happiness Index Survey, and respondents in the United States, people who were married or in domestic partnerships had an average higher ranking on Cantril’s ladder than those who were unmarried. We believe that this relates back to Robert Waldinger’s findings from the Harvard Study of Adult Development. In this study, they found that close relationships help people stay healthier longer. Harvard Medical School has also published work stating that there is a direct correlation between health and happiness , so we believe that this overall means that people who are married or in domestic partnerships are happier. While we acknowledge that marriage is not the perfect representation of what a close relationship is, this is a good quantitative indicator of close relationships in a person’s life.
Another reason that we feel may explain this finding is because of the increase in self confidence that comes with being married. Similar to the U-Bend effect, where people become more self confident the older they are, people may be happier when they find someone that accepts them for who they are as a person and this will increase their happiness levels.
To test this theory, we would gather a random sample of subjects who are in their early 20s and split them into two groups. The first group will be surveyed on their relationship status, their self confidence levels, and their overall happiness. The second group will be surveyed on their relationship status, their health, and their overall happiness. These surveys will be repeated with the same group of subjects every year for 50 years, very similar to the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Once we gather all of that data, we would be able to see if there is a strong correlation between either health or self confidence being affected by marriage.
When looking at people’s trust in government and how that affects their score on Cantril’s Ladder, we found that overall, people who had higher trust in the government were happier than those who did not. This was true for both local and national government. The governance of Bhutan strongly indicates a positive linear relationship between happiness and trust in government. Bhutan’s Constitution is founded on the four pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH): good governance, sustainable socio economic development, promotion and preservation of culture, and environmental conservation . Dasho Karma Ura, a world expert on happiness and President of the Center for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research has crafted his research based on asking quantitative measurable questions, such as the quality of sleep, interactions with neighbors and other methods to understand subjective well-being in quantifiable measures. Communal relationships and good governance are a two-tiered political universe that rotates around an axis defined by happiness, because with good governance there comes the resolution of social problems. Alleviating suffering and uplifting the values of citizens strengths the morale health of a nation, as well collective trust.
How one feels about their government is like a Rorschach test, a linguistic ink block that defines their happiness in relationship with a large annex of their political society. People are holistically happier in life when they have a higher satisfaction with their local and national government because their society highly reflects their beliefs and aspirations for a society closer towards an utopia. However, there is a tendency for people to hold a weak interpretation on the impact of government performance and their personal happiness .
To test the relationship between government performance and happiness, we could gather a random sample of subjects who belong to a limited amount of differing counties. Each county group will be split into two groups. The first group will be surveyed about their perception of their local and national government, their thoughts on how government impacts their happiness, and their overall happiness. Each group will be measured over the course of 20 years The second group will be surveyed about their perception of local and national government, their political involvement in society, and their overall happiness. These surveys will be repeated with the same groups of subjects annually. Once data is collected, we would be able to see if there is a correlation between outlook on government and overall happiness.
The crux of this research has been to compare and decypher overall life happiness through an individual's marital relationships and an individual's perception of their government. With marital status, the data proves that marriage promotes higher levels of happiness. With marriage comes a shared acceptance of two, which promotes longevity through trust and sharing. With marriage, one is more empowered to express their desires, their needs, and live a life with purposeful relationships.When one has faith in their government, they are empowered to practice these same actions with their governments and on a larger scale.
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|Last updated||December 24, 2018|
|Created||December 24, 2018|
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