the happiness gap

Perhaps you’ve seen the NYTimes piece on the happiness gap between men and women. The claim is that in the early 1970s women were slightly happier than men but that now things are switched with men slightly happier than women. This is all supposed to be very interesting and the article has gotten lots of attention. When I first read it, though, a number of alarm bells went off regarding both the basic claim and the explanation for it, e.g., how exactly the researchers derived the claim from the data, alternative explanations for the data that weren’t ruled out, and so on. But I didn’t have time to really dig into the matter and see whether and where things had gone wrong. But somebody else has done some digging: here and here. Maybe it’s premature worrying about how to explain the switched gap. Then again, perhaps it is also noteworthy if happiness rates haven’t changed, given how many other things have changed.


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One Response to the happiness gap

  1. Mother of the bride says:

    We all see different parts to this article. The part I saw was that women are most unhappy when they must spend time with their parents (striking particularly close to home with my recent visit with my daughter), because they are faced with helping parents with chores, etc. Double work.

    Just park me in the car in the garage with a full tank and a purring engine when that happiness line is crossed.

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