|New York Prison Break—An Accessory´s Admission
||Is Joyce Mitchell so different than the rest of us? Yes, in her unlawful conduct. No, in terms of her positive response to the way a crafty manipulator made her feel.
|Best of Our Blogs: June 12, 2015
||I read somewhere that at the root of almost every conflict is misunderstanding. Think about this for a moment. This could mean your argument with a friend/co-worker/partner is not about something you said or didn’t do. It’s quite possible that it has everything to do … ...
|Fully Charged With ADHD
||Do you have ADHD primarily hyperactive? Or maybe ADHD combined subtype? If so, you know the sensation of always being on the go. I wrote a couple of blog posts … ...
|Neurons “Slept In”
||When you go (meditatively) inside your own skull, what you find there is – no, not the brain – but neurons thinking about themselves. That’s right: a brain isn’t an … ...
|Daily Rituals for Cultivating Creativity
||When we think creativity, such words often come to mind: novel, unusual, atypical, surprising, extraordinary. And creativity is all of these things. Creativity flourishes in the unfamiliar. It thrives in … ...
|What Makes a Nation Happy?
||“The care of human life and happiness…is the only legitimate object of good government.”—Thomas Jefferson, 1809.
Everyone wants to be happy, and increasingly, countries around the world are looking at happiness as an indicator of national well-being and considering happiness in policy making. As this year’s World Happiness Report states, “Happiness is increasingly considered a proper measure of social progress and a goal of public policy.” But what makes people happy, and which countries have the highest levels of happiness?
For the World Happiness Report, researchers ranked countries based on factors including healthy life expectancy, social support, GDP per capita, the happiness of a country’s children, social capital, the civil economy, the absence of corruption, and subjective well-being. When compared with findings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index, we find that the happiest countries are those that build stronger social ties, better-managed commons, and a strong sense of community.
Photo: Kosala Bandara (CC-BY-20)
Switzerland, this year’s happiest country, ranks above average in subjective well-being, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, health status, social connections, environmental quality, education and skills, and personal security. There’s also a strong sense of community in Switzerland, where 96 percent of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need. The latter is the highest figure in the OECD, tied with #2 Iceland.
Photo: Stig Nygaard (CC-BY-20)
According to the Better Life Index, Iceland ranks at the top in jobs and earnings, and above average in social connections, subjective well-being, health status, environmental quality, personal security, civic engagement, and education and skills. Icelanders also measure among the highest in general satisfaction with life, rating an average of 7.5 on a 10 points scale, which is one of the highest scores in the OECD where the average is 6.6
Photo: Moyan Brenn (CC-BY-20)
Last year’s happiest country, Denmark takes the third spot this year. The top country in work-life balance, with only two percent of employees reporting working very long hours, Denmark also ranks above average in environmental quality, civic engagement, education and skills, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, and personal security.
Photo: Alberto Carrasco Casado (CC-BY-20)
Norway is a well-rounded country, rating well in almost all the dimensions measured, with strong civic engagement, good social connections, environmental quality, housing, work-life balance, and more. A higher than average 82 percent of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education.
Photo: David Ohmer (CC-BY-20)
Canadians are healthy and happy. With 89 percent of people reporting being in good health—much higher than the OECD average of 69 percent—Canada is among the five happiest countries in the world. Canada also has the lowest rate in the OECD in assaults, with just 1.3 percent of people reported falling victim over the previous 12 months. The OECD average is 3.9 percent.
Photo: Leo-setä (CC-BY-20)
Finland rates well in subjective well-being, civic engagement, environmental quality, housing, work-life balance, and social connections. The country also places a strong emphasis on education. The average student scored 529 in reading literacy, math and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is significantly higher than the OECD average of 497.
Photo: Alias 0591 (CC-BY-20)
The Netherlands ranks above the average in work-life balance, jobs and earnings, housing, income and wealth, education, subjective well-being, health, and social connections. The country also has a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation. Over 90 percent of people believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need, and voter turnout during recent elections was 75 percent, which is significantly higher than the OECD average of 68 percent.
Photo: Pelle Sten (CC-BY-20)
The top ranking country in environmental quality, Sweden also ranks above average in education, work-life balance health status, jobs, and housing. When it comes to civic engagement, Sweden not only has a high 86 percent voter turnout, it also has a narrow gap between voter turnout between the top 20 percent of income earners in the country and the lowest 20 percent, suggesting that the country’s democratic institutions have broad social inclusion.
9. New Zealand
Photo: Department of Conservation (CC-BY-20)
New Zealand scored the highest in health with considerably lower than average tiny air pollutant particles (10.8 micrograms per cubic meter vs. the OECD average of 20.1), and 89 percent of whose citizens report being satisfied with the quality of their water. New Zealand also rank well in civic engagement, personal security, education, jobs, and subjective well-being.
Photo: Thomas Depenbusch (CC-BY-20)
Australia ranked at the top in civic engagement and above average in environmental quality. Ninety-two percent of people believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need. The country also has high subjective well-being, health status, education, and jobs. Voter turnout in Australia was an impressive 93 percent during recent elections, a figure that is attributed to the fact that voting is compulsory in Australia.
For more information and findings, see the World Happiness Report and the OECD Better Life Index.
|Does wealth equal happiness?
||There is a certain hollowness to the "wealth equals happiness" equation that psychologist Abraham Maslow understood.
|National pilot program to train doctors in transgender health
||A national pilot program is launching to address this population's private struggles in the medical world.
|Mind-Body Training and Health
||If you can worry yourself sick, you can heal yourself with your mind. For at least three thousand years, people have known intuitively that one’s state of mind has a … ...
||I am a massive grudge holder and if I feel that someone has wronged me; I am capable of holding onto that grudge for the rest of my life. It’s … ...
|Taking Exquisite Care of Ourselves
||The last few days I’ve been cleaning my house. Vigorously. Our family is visiting from up north, more family is coming over this weekend, and our house is being appraised. … ...
|A Book for Your Soul
||Creating a Courage Book I love to help people take a much needed journey to themselves. It can be a much longer road than you might think. I love this … ...
|New study finds group discussion improves lie detection
||Though many people believe they can recognize when someone is lying, detecting deception is difficult. Accuracy rates in experiments have proven to be only slightly greater than chance, even among trained professionals. But a new study published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that groups are consistently more accurate in [...]
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|How OCD Feels
||I have diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). My obsessions revolve around germs, numbers, and running over people with my car (or while in someone else’s). It all started with the … ...
|Interactions between cortical and subcortical regions important in hypersensitivity in autism
||The increased interaction between cortical and subcortical brain regions highlights the central role of hypersensitivity and other sensory symptoms in defining Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is presented in research performed by a team led by Christian Keysers and Leonardo Cerliani at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam. This finding provides a key to [...]
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|Scientists uncover unique role of nerve cells in the body’s use of energy
||While it is well-known that weight gain results from an imbalance between what we eat and our energy expenditure, what is not obvious is the role that the nervous system plays in controlling that energy balance. Now scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shed light on that question. “Our [...]
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|You Have Rights
||People With Bipolar Protected by ADA Did you know that people with Bipolar are protected by the ADA in employment? According to an article written by Attorney Katharine Gordon has … ...
|Infants’ superior perception linked to later autism symptoms
||People with autism are often described as “seeing the world differently.” They tend to show superior perception for details, like, for example, the autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire’s highly accurate representations of cityscapes drawn from memory. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 11 show that those differences in perceptual skill [...]
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|Noninvasive brain stimulator may ease Parkinson’s symptoms in a patient’s home
||Parkinson’s disease patients whose symptoms such as tremor, muscle stiffness and slowed movement make it tough to hold an eating utensil steady have few options for relief outside of a hospital or clinic. Medication can help, but over time it tends to become less effective. To give these patients another in-home option, Johns Hopkins graduate [...]
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|Study finds decreased social anxiety among young adults who eat fermented foods
||Psychologists have traditionally looked to the mind to help people living with mental health issues. But a recent study led by William & Mary researchers shows that the stomach may also play a key role, suggesting that the old adage “you are what you eat” is more than a cliché. W&M Psychology Professors Matthew Hilimire [...]
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