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  • Researchers Use iPhone to Study Happiness


    A pair of Harvard researchers have used an iPhone app to track the moods of thousands of participants in a study about happiness. Querying over two thousand iPhone users at random points in the day, the psychologists found people are happiest when they are focused on what they're doing than when they are spacing out, even if they are having pleasant thoughts.

    The researchers knew that studying people's states of mind during their normal lives would be difficult and problematic. Calling people several times a day would be extremely time consuming as well as counter-productive: most people would probably report less happiness after being bothered by phone calls asking if they were happy. So Harvard doctoral student Matthew Killingsworth and psychology professor Daniel Gilbert set up TrackYourHappiness.org to contact 2,250 iPhone users, ages 18 to 88, at random times of day and ask three simple questions: "How are you feeling right now?" "What are you doing right now?" and "Are you currently thinking about something other than what you're currently doing?"

    The study, which was published today in the journal Science, showed that 46.9 percent of the time people's minds were wandering when they were contacted, and at least 30% of the time when they were doing anything other than engaging in sexual activity. What's more, people reported that they were less happy when spacing out than when they're engaged in whatever they were doing, even if the thoughts were nice and the work was unpleasant or dull. This is consistent with what the incredibly difficult-to-spell psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi refers to as flow: a "mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity" which is said to bring on "spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task."

    The study is part of a much larger ongoing project at Harvard to "investigate what makes life worth living." To participate and get your own personalized "happiness report," you can go to www.trackyourhappiness.org.

    Source: Boston Globe
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Researchers Use iPhone to Study Happiness started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. cb22's Avatar
      cb22 -
      I'm happy! :-)
    1. Turb02's Avatar
      Turb02 -
      So I should write an article about how I track how many times I get pissed off while Im at work, see if I can get a study of all my coworkers...and use my iPhone to track the whole thing. BRILLIANT.
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      This is reaching meme proportions: Ramirez do everything...

      iPhone does everything.
    1. LamboFan's Avatar
      LamboFan -
      Well, iPad IS the happiest tablet computer out there!
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      ...Couldnt find a "better" looking picture -__-
    1. emtee25's Avatar
      emtee25 -
      People who are 88???
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      That guy in the picture is just waaaay too happy to have his iPhone.
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      That guy in the picture just ruins my whole attitude. Maybe if i had CRAP all over my face i would look just as ****** as he looks. But that seems like a good way to do the study vs calling people up.
    1. wcbardwell's Avatar
      wcbardwell -
      What is that thing on his face (below the writing)?
    1. athleticswimmer's Avatar
      athleticswimmer -
      Quote Originally Posted by wcbardwell View Post
      What is that thing on his face (below the writing)?
      It's a tracker....so it doesnt escape
    1. llj143's Avatar
      llj143 -
      metal pimple.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      im always happy when im with my iphone!
    1. YuckiestMilf's Avatar
      YuckiestMilf -
      Yea take my iPhone away and see how unhappy I can get!
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Daniel Ash View Post


      A pair of Harvard researchers have used an iPhone app to track the moods of thousands of participants in a study about happiness. Querying over two thousand iPhone users at random points in the day, the psychologists found people are happiest when they are focused on what they're doing than when they are spacing out, even if they are having pleasant thoughts.

      The researchers knew that studying people's states of mind during their normal lives would be difficult and problematic. Calling people several times a day would be extremely time consuming as well as counter-productive: most people would probably report less happiness after being bothered by phone calls asking if they were happy. So Harvard doctoral student Matthew Killingsworth and psychology professor Daniel Gilbert set up TrackYourHappiness.org to contact 2,250 iPhone users, ages 18 to 88, at random times of day and ask three simple questions: "How are you feeling right now?" "What are you doing right now?" and "Are you currently thinking about something other than what you're currently doing?"

      The study, which was published today in the journal Science, showed that 46.9 percent of the time people's minds were wandering when they were contacted, and at least 30% of the time when they were doing anything other than engaging in sexual activity. What's more, people reported that they were less happy when spacing out than when they're engaged in whatever they were doing, even if the thoughts were nice and the work was unpleasant or dull. This is consistent with what the incredibly difficult-to-spell psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi refers to as flow: a "mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity" which is said to bring on "spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task."

      The study is part of a much larger ongoing project at Harvard to "investigate what makes life worth living." To participate and get your own personalized "happiness report," you can go to www.trackyourhappiness.org.

      Source: Boston Globe
      Okay.................

      And............................................... .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .............

      .................................................. .................................................. ..............................
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      Well i like my ipad n iphone4 !!!  they my two best freinds!! Haha
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Okay.................

      And............................................... .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .............

      .................................................. .................................................. ..............................
      OMFG, X[] DONT QUOTE AN ENTIRE NEWS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      And on the article, thats pretty useful.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by coolguy742 View Post
      OMFG, X[] DONT QUOTE AN ENTIRE NEWS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Just so the guy above me didn't think I was responding to him.

      Get over it!
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      Forget about studying happiness. iPhone 4 IS happiness.