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February 21, 2013

QOL Research in Germany (Der Spiegel)

The leading German weekly Der Spiegel recently published an article on human happiness citing QOL researcher Jan Delhey from the "Happiness Research Group".

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegelwissen/sehnsucht-nach-glueck-was-genau-macht-ein-glueckliches-leben-aus-a-884207.html [German]

"A range of social factors are in play here, says Delhey, but also individual ones. He has developed a formula for happiness based on years of research: "Having, loving, being" are the corner points of his triangle of well-being. The three factors having, loving, being can be emphasized individually, but no aspect can substitute the other entirely."

Why Lousiana is the saddest state.

A team at the Vermont Complex Systems Center analyzed 10 million geo-tagged tweets and coded each tweet for its happiness content, based on the appearance and frequency of words determined by Mechanical Turk workers to be happy (rainbow, love, beauty, hope, wonderful, wine) or sad (damn, boo, ugly, smoke, hate, lied). While the researchers admit their technique ignores context, they say that for large datasets, simply counting the words and averaging their happiness content produces "reliable" results.

The results is a geography of happiness based on twitter tweets.


February 14, 2013

Verified by VISA, 3D Secure Code of MasterCard

Now that the ISQOLS website is fully up and running, more and more membership renewals are coming in. Some of you might have already noticed that we adopted additional security measures for online credit card payments.

"Verified by Visa" (http://www.visaeurope.com/en/cardholders/verified_by_visa.aspx) and "Mastercard Secure Code" (http://www.mastercard.us/securecode.html) add an extra layer of security to online payments by verifying your identity to your credit card provider (not ISQOLS) and thus preventing credit card fraud. They are being implemented by more and more online shops and other sites that rely on online payments. Because we take the security of our members very seriously, we also decided to add some additional security.

All you have to do is check the compatibility of your credit card and sign up with your bank or credit card provider. This is quickly done online.

When making a payment to ISQOLS by credit card, you enter your credit card data as usual and a separate window will be opened containing a personalized message proving the request is genuine and not itself fraudulent. You will then be asked for a password or security number which you either determine yourself or receive from your credit card provider. Once submitted, your identity is confirmed and your payment authorized.

February 13, 2013

NEW ISSUE ALERT: Applied Research in Quality of Life Vol. 8 No. 1

To view the table of content visit SpringerLink

February 8, 2013

Newspaper article on GDP and SWB

In the British newspaper Telegraph there is an article about the Easterlin paradox and the link between GDP and happiness in general. Several papers from ISQOLS members are mentioned. Here is the link:


Jan Delhey & Christian Kroll

February 6, 2013

Announcement: OPHI MD Poverty Summer School, July 2013 Washington DC

The purpose of this intensive summer school is to provide a thorough conceptual and technical introduction to some techniques of measuring multidimensional poverty with a strong emphasis on the Alkire Foster method. Participants will revise axiomatic poverty measures, and will learn about different techniques of multidimensional poverty measurement and which problems they are best suited to solve. The empirical motivation for measuring multidimensional poverty will be presented as well as the conceptual motivation, drawing on Sen's Capability approach.

The following topics will be covered

  • Axiomatic approaches to unidimensional and multidimensional poverty;
  • Methodologies to analyse multidimensional poverty: dashboard, stochastic dominance, information theory, fuzzy set, multiple correspondence analysis, unmet basic needs and counting approaches - and the problems each methodology best solves;
  • The Alkire Foster methodology of multidimensional poverty measurement;
  • Selection of parameters: purpose, unit of measure, dimensions, indicators, cut-offs and weights;
  • Data reduction techniques for measure design and analysis;
  • Subgroup decomposition and mapping;
  • Multidimensional poverty dynamics;
  • Disparity among the poor and across groups;
  • Econometric analysis of multidimensional poverty; and
  • Institutions, policies, and communication.

Course Format

The summer school will consist of ten and a half days of instruction and working group sessions, taught in English. Each participant needs to bring a laptop with STATA with them to do the problem sets. Throughout the summer school, participants will be actively involved in discussions and working through problem sets, and will be invited to present their research work as well as to share their experiences.

Dates and Location

The course is Monday 8th to Friday 19th July 2013, with a final exam on the 20th of July (non compulsory). Classes will be at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.


To apply, please complete the online application form at http://www.ophi.org.uk/ss2013-application and submit a most recent curriculum vitae and sample STATA .do file. The application process is competitive; applicants will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided in their application.

Course fee

  • $750 USD for all students, and for academic researchers based in developing countries;
  • $1500 USD for professionals based in developing countries; and
  • $2500 USD for professionals based in developed countries

In addition, participants will need to pay for accommodation ($37/night for shared to $63 USD/night for a single room), meals ($25/per day for modest fare), and travel fares (and cost of STATA software program). Additionally, kindly note, the American visa application fee is $160 USD. For information on scholarships, please see below.

Important Dates

  • 17 March 2013: For Applicants Requesting Financial Support
  • 24 March 2013: Final Deadline


  • The summer school will be led by the Researchers and Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI - www.ophi.org.uk) of the University of Oxford, and will include sessions by OPHI Research Associate and Director of the International Institute for Economic Policy (IIEP) Professor James Foster. OPHI instructors include Sabina Alkire, Paola Ballón, Maria Emma Santos, Mauricio Apablaza, José Manuel Roche, Suman Seth, and Diego Zavaleta.

 Course Application Information

The summer school is addressed to those who are working on, or actively interested in gaining skills in multidimensional poverty measurement, particularly academics, professionals, and post-graduate students. Applicants who are already at the stage of pursuing a research project or work on measurement are particularly welcome. Other applicants having a demonstrated research interest in empirical analysis in these topics can be considered on the basis of their experience and space availability.


  • A demonstrable knowledge of STATA is an absolute pre-requisite for attending the course. Every attendant to the summer school will need to have STATA 10 or higher installed in his/her laptop. The software is not provided by the summer school.
  • Where possible, participants should have a strong knowledge in quantitative methods (e.g. econometrics, statistics, etc), and a strong interest in poverty measurement and analysis.

Financial Support

Limited partial and full financial support will be available. Competition for financial support will be very strong; however well qualified and committed applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are also highly encouraged to seek support from their local government and institutions. We would be happy to provide support letters for funding applications.

Further Information

Please write to Tery van Taack, tery.vantaack@qeh.ox.ac.uk


Ruut Veenhoven moved to Happiness Economics

After 45 years in the department of sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, I have moved to the school of economics of the same university. Together with my research group I joined the newly established Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization, on which information is available at http://www.eur.nl/ehero

My World Database of Happiness will be hosted in this institute and continued after my time.

Ruut Veenhoven
Emeritus professor of social conditions for human happiness

February 4, 2013

NEW ISSUE ALERT: Quality of Life Research, Vol. 22 No 1

To view the table of content visit SpringerLink

Quality of Life from an evolutionary perspective

Dear QOL researchers,

Some but not all of you know about an Evolution Institute workshop on Quality of Life from an evolutionary perspective that was held at the University of Memphis on November 4-7, 2011. One outcome was a plan to organize a special issue on the topic, which will be published in the Applied Research in Quality of Life, the official journal of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS). The special issue is planned with the help of the journal's former editor-in-chief, Joseph Sirgy, who was a participant of the workshop.

Attached is a call for proposals for the special issue. We welcome your involvement in this project, as your time and interest warrants. In addition, we would appreciate your help directing the memo to colleagues who might be interested in submitting a proposal.


David Sloan Wilson

ISQOLS BoD Voting Results 2013-2014

Dear members of ISQOLS

It is my pleasure to let you know about the results from our voting process to elect our President Elect and our Board of Directors.

I would like to be the first in congratulating Ronda Phillips and the new members of the BoD, as well as wishing them all the best during their term.

Please visit this site to view the voting results:



I would also like to express my gratitude to the members of the Nominating Committee: Dave Webb, Peter Krause, Joe Sirgy, and Graciela Tonon; as well as to our ISQOLS office in Berlin (Thanks Denis and Joerg for such an efficient work).

My regards,

Mariano Rojas

ISQOLS Vice-president of External Affairs

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