Conclusions and Afterthoughts
The impact on the nature of happiness of technological and social changes from 1938 to 2014 is explored. It outlines the advantages of the “consumer society”, but also the downsides, for some, of problem debt and discontent. The influence of the Internet age on community identification and the greater individualization and importance of leisure is discussed. Reported happiness levels are similar in both periods confirming the Easterlin Paradox. In 2014, happiness may be more materialistic with less inner peace and contentment. Family remains highly valued with chosen friendships replacing “giving to/helping others”. How much is enhanced happiness within the control of the individual or due to circumstances? As the link between health and happiness is recognized should the growth of GNP remain the primary government policy?
KeywordsNature of happiness Social and technological change Happiness surveys Well-being
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