MEDIA RELEASE: R00194 – 9 September 2016
Brock University psychologist Michael Busseri predicts that a new indicator may be popping up in many countries’ statistics in the near future: Gross National Happiness.
Coined in Bhutan in the early 1970s, the idea is to estimate peoples’ sense of well-being “with the growing understanding that a happy society that feels they have meaning, purpose and satisfaction is also a more productive society,” says Busseri.
Busseri studies how various categories of people – young, old, optimistic, pessimistic, happy, sad – think about their lives over time and how they view whether or not life will get better in the future.
The Professor of Psychology plans to examine countries’ economic and social indicators – gross domestic product, infant mortality, education, access to democratic institutions, etc. – to see if there is a relationship between peoples’ beliefs about their well-being and how the country they are living in is performing economically and socially over time.
“Understanding this at a global level may help inform social policies or at the very least give us information about society and how it sees itself changing over time,” says Busseri. “This information may be useful not only to lay persons but also to governments.”
Busseri is among 18 researchers at Brock University who were awarded funds from the federal granting agency Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
On September 9, SSHRC announced this year’s awarding of research grants for post-secondary researchers across Canada. Brock was awarded more than $3.7 million in three competitions for the 2016 funding year.
Subjects areas of other grants awarded to Brock University include: transparency and accountability of mining activities in West Africa; the meaning of deep and sustained friendships for people living with dementia; the role of emotion in language comprehension; and employee entrepreneurial behaviours in the workplace.
“Our researchers continue to expand the boundaries of society’s knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of issues, which leads to the improvement of the lives of many,” says Steven Renzetti, Interim Vice-President Research.
“This latest round of SSHRC funding is extremely important as we strengthen our research intensiveness and further develop our reputation as Canada’s newest comprehensive university,” says Renzetti.
See story in The Brock News. (LINK).
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Cathy Majtenyi, Research Communications/Media Relations Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-688-5550 x5789 or 905-321-0566
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