ISQOLS Webinars are created and produced by ISQOLS members. The intent of ISQOLS Webinars is to inspire ideas and research in new directions and contribute to the happiness, well-being and quality-of-life research. If you are interested in presenting your research in an ISQOLS webinar, please contact email@example.com.
ISQOLS WEBINAR: Sustainable Hedonism. A Thriving Life That Does Not Cost the Earth
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2021
How could values that might seem distant, such as ecological balance and solidarity, override what is immediate, personal, and enjoyable? Why would anyone opt for minimalism in the world of maximizers? Ecologically responsible behaviour is often perceived as a loss of happiness and life quality, evoking resistance or even anger.
The idea of loss is unlikely to motivate for adjustment. A more viable path is to refine and fine-tune our relationship to joy. We need to find a life strategy that is both joyful and does no harm to oneself or to others. I call this ‘sustainable hedonism’.
Our simplified 21st century version of hedonism encourages radical hedonism, unrestrained egoist pleasure-seeking. In contrast, ancient hedonists were masters of pleasure, but with inner freedom, emphasizing that one should not become a slave to desires. Experiencing pleasure and pain is a matter of habit, and it can be learned, argues Aristotle. Self-mastery is far from being ascetic self-denial, but rather a ’golden mean’ or a ’middle way’ between self-indulgence and self-mortification, as argued by both Aristotle and the Buddha as well. According to Aristotle, pleasure and morality need to be connected. This approach invites us become better hedonists and more virtuous at the same time.
The presentation is based on Dr Lelkes’ recent book titled "Sustainable Hedonism. A Thriving Life that Does not Cost the Earth” (Bristol University Press, May 2021).
"Walls of Glass. Measuring Deprivation in Social Participation"
THURSDAY, MARCH 25
This paper proposes a measure for deprivation in social participation, an important but so far neglected dimension of human well-being. Operationalisation and empirical implementation of the measure are conceptually guided by the capability approach. Essentially, the paper argues that deprivation in social participation can be convincingly established by drawing on extensive non-participation in customary social activities. In doing so, the present paper synthesizes philosophical considerations, axiomatic research on poverty and deprivation, and previous empirical research on social exclusion and subjective well-being. An application using high-quality German survey data supports the measure’s validity. Specifically, the results suggest, as theoretically expected, that the proposed measure is systematically different from related concepts like material deprivation and income poverty. Moreover, regression techniques reveal deprivation in social participation to reduce life satisfaction substantially, quantitatively similar to unemployment. Finally, the validity of the measure and the question of preference vs. deprivation are discussed.
Keywords: social participation, capability approach, deprivation, life satisfaction, multidimensional poverty, SOEP
"Exploring the Link Between Walkability and Subjective Wellbeing in
Detroit Metro Area"
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
Presented by: Aditi Manke
Walkability as a concept in urban planning is emerging since neighborhoods are less walkable and people are more dependent on their automobile today. On the research front, there is enough literature on the health benefits of walkability but the relation between walkability and subjective wellbeing remains understudied. The webinar will show the wellbeing effects of walking behavior of individuals living in Detroit metropolitan area. In addition to walking behavior, the research also focused on the activity of walking in the presence of neighborhood aesthetics like greenness, crime, streets maintenance which might alleviate positive or aggravate negative emotions while performing the act of walking.
"Does it matter where it comes from? Happiness and air pollution sources"
MONDAY, OCTOBER 5
Presented by: Veronica Vienne
The adverse effects of air pollution on human health are well documented in the clinical, epidemiological and toxicological literatures. People in their everyday lives and industrial activity contribute to the creation of air pollution, but overall air pollution affects people regardless of how it is produced, unless the pollutant agent differs. However, does is affect people’s well-being differently depending on how it is produced? In this paper I study whether changes in air pollution from different sources have a heterogeneous impact on people's life satisfaction, and I analyse the incentives individuals face to abate emissions.
To do this I propose a model of household's choices of avoidance behaviours and use to analyse how differently-targeted policies affect households choices regarding air pollution. Later I perform an empirical study in a developing economy context. For the empirical work I use subjective well-being (SWB) measures to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for reductions of air pollution, procedure known as the Life Satisfaction Approach. I use data from the Chilean Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, which appoints air pollution to different sources, and merge it with individual-level socio-demographic information from the Chilean household survey. Preliminary results show that life satisfaction is negatively related to air pollution generated by transport and firms, but that the externalities they receive from generating air pollution in a household outweigh its negative health consequences.
"Scale Norming Makes Welfare Analysis with Life Satisfaction Scales Difficult: Theory and Empirical Evidence"
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2
Presented by: Dr. Mark Fabian
Scale norming, sometimes called ‘response shift’, is where respondents use qualitatively different scales to answer the same question across survey waves. It makes responses challenging to compare intertemporally or interpersonally. This paper develops a formal model of the cognitive process that could give rise to scale norming in year on year responses to life satisfaction scale questions. It then uses this model to conceptually differentiate scale norming from adaptation and changes in reference points. Scale norming could make life satisfaction responses misleading with regards to the changing welfare of individuals. In particular, individuals who would say that their life is "improving" or "going well" might nonetheless give the same scale response year after year. This has major implications for the use of scales in cost-benefit analysis and other welfarist applications. While there is already substantial empirical evidence for the existence of scale norming, its implications for welfare analysis are sometimes understated on the grounds that this evidence might simply be the product of errors of memory. The paper presents new empirical evidence for scale norming from two surveys (N1 = 278; N2 = 1050) designed such that errors of memory are an unconvincing explanation for the results.
"Be Happy: Navigating Normative Issues in Behavioural and Well-Being Public Policy"
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1
Presented by: Dr. Mark Fabian
Psychological science is increasingly influencing public policy. Behavioural public policy (BPP) was a milestone in this regard because it influenced many areas of policy in a general way. Well-being public policy (WPP) is emerging as a second domain of psychological science with general applicability. However, advocacy for WPP is criticised on ethical and political grounds. These criticisms are reminiscent of those directed at BPP over the past decade. This déjà vu suggests the need for interdisciplinary work that establishes normative principles for applying psychological science in public policy. We try to distil such principles for WPP from the normative debates over BPP. We argue that the uptake of BPP by governments was a function of its relatively strong normative and epistemic foundations in libertarian paternalism, or “nudging”, for short. We explain why the nudge framework is inappropriate for WPP. We then analyse how “boosts” offers a strict but feasible alternative framework for substantiating the legitimacy of well-being (and behavioural) policies. We illuminate how some WPPs could be fruitfully promoted as boosts and how they might fall short of the associated criteria.
"Bowling with Trump: Economic Anxiety, Racial Identification, and Well-Being in the 2016 US Presidential Election "
WEDNESDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER
Presented by: Dr. Mark Fabian
We use well-being data from the Gallup Daily Poll and a measure of racial animus derived from Google search data to explain why racial identification became politically salient in the 2016 Presidential Election. We find that the oft-observed positive relationship between racial animus and Trump’s vote share is eliminated by introducing an interaction between racial animus and a measure of the basic psychological need for relatedness. We also find that rates of worry have a strong and significant positive association with Trump’s vote share, but this is offset by high levels of relatedness. Together, these two results imply that racial voting behavior in 2016 was driven by a desire for in-group affiliation as a way of buffering against economic and cultural anxiety. Such behavior is well established in laboratory studies in self-determination theory and worldview defense theory. We find no effect on Trump’s performance from exposure to trade shocks. This suggests that the economic roots of Trump’s success may be overstated and that the need for relatedness is a key underlying driver of contemporary political trends in the US.
"Wellbeing, sustainability, and progress: what's needed to help governments be accountable to human experience? "
MONDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2020
Presented by: Dr. Chris Barrington-Leigh
Chris Barrington-Leigh is an Associate Professor at McGill University, jointly appointed at the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the School of Environment, and is an associate member in McGill's Department of Economics. His recent research is focused on empirical and quantitative assessments of human well-being, measured through subjective reports, and their implications for policy. He was originally trained in upper atmospheric and space plasma physics at M.I.T., Stanford, and Berkeley, before studying Economics at the University of British Columbia. Chris was a Global Scholar of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (2009-2014) and is a current member of the Global Young Academy.
"Influence of Spouses’ Work-Role Similarity on Inter Gender Difference in Health and life Expectancy"
WEDNESDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 2020
Presented by: Dr. Uriel Leviatan
Life Expectancy (LE) for women is longer in industrial societies and as their LE increases, women gain more. Add to this that most husbands are older than their wives are and at least two major problems emerge: (1) Society gets a very large numbers of old widows without the support of male spouses; (2) An extra demand on the welfare resources of society. Yet, in some societies, the level of inter-gender difference in LE is relatively low. A case in point is the Israeli Kibbutz population. Its LE is one of the highest yet the LE difference between males and females is one of the lowest. I test with three studies a theoretical model to explain this phenomenon as follows: Similarity in work roles of spouses >> increases empathy between spouses >> makes social support among them more effective >> brings about well being and health >> reduces mortality and increases LE
"Promoting wellbeing through gender equity: ten strategies for basic education institutions"
FRIDAY, 21 AUGUST
Presented by: Dra Zeida Guajardo
Discrimination has a negative effect on wellbeing, and this effect is more severe during childhood. An investigation carried out in the city of Monterrey, Mexico, showed that gender discrimination is experienced daily in the classroom, both in public and private schools. This webinar will present at least ten specific strategies to prevent gender discrimination and thereby positively promote wellbeing in basic education institutions.
"Character Strengths and Participation in Sport/Physical
Activity to Promote Positive Ageing"
MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2020
presented by Dr Urszula Wolski
The aim of research is to investigate whether an intervention programme encourages ‘non-active’ adults to participate in regular sport and/or physical activity in relation to their character strengths. Character strengths are what are unique and authentic to everyone, such as love, gratitude and appreciation of beauty, and as a result, it is these that will encourage participation in activities that are found to be enjoyable and could lead to flow experiences. Such activities can therefore help to lead to greater health, well-being and eudaimonic happiness
"Designing Meaningful Work during COVID-19:
Implications for Managers & the Future of Work"
THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2020
presented by Jonathan Westover
This webinar will summarize a series of studies comparing job satisfaction and its determinants across 37 countries, based on data from the most recent wave of the International Social Survey Program. This research explores various work-life balance factors, job autonomy, and meaningful work indicators and the related considerations for managers as they work to design work (including remote work) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"POZE. A paradigm for Social Change, from the inside out."
MONDAY, JUNE 22
This presentation offers an introduction in the POZE perspective and the related methodology. A case study from Haiti is used to illustrate its impact. The underpinning logic is that human life is the result of multiple dimensions which can be optimized only if their interplay is understood.
"Transmission of Research Results to the Field of Public Policies for the Improvement of Quality of Life"
MONDAY, JUNE 8
This webinar will begin with the review of the concept of public policy, to introduce the analysis of the transmission of research results in the context of public policies – taking into account the different characteristics of knowledge and the way in which researchers and policy-makers has been interacting in this field. Then it will identify and comment on the handicaps which have historically turned up in the development of this process and the possibilities of strengthening it to achieve the improvement of people`s quality of life.
"Community Indicators Projects: Theoretical Notions"
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time/12:00 (NOON Eastern Standard Time
Community planners devise their own community indicators systems guided by theoretical notions of what constitute quality of life of their own communities. There are many concepts guiding the formulation of community indicators projects. Here are five popular concepts: (1) personal utility, (2) opulence, (3) the just society, (4) satisfaction of human needs, and (5) sustainability. This webinar will describe these theoretical notions and how they are used by researchers in the development and use of community indicators projects.
ISQOLS Member Research Webinar
"Which factors support student wellbeing at university?“
Monday, November 11, 2019; 07:30am Pacific Standard Time/16:30 South Africa Standard Time
Prof Irma Eloff
Editor of the Handbook of Quality of Life in African Societies (Springer) and professor of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Prof Tharina Guse,
Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa and Founder and President of the South African Positive Psychology Association
ISQOLS Member Research Webinar, "Exploring the concept of health-related quality of life for patients on haemodialysis in Saudi Arabia“
Wednesday, October 30, 2019; 08:00 AM. Arabian Standard Time
Tuesday, October 29, 2019; 10:00 PM/22:00 Pacific Standard Time
Dr. Rima S. AL Garni
Assistant professor, Critical care nursing
Vice Dean for Quality, Development and Community Service
Chairperson, Fundamentals of Nursing Department
College of Nursing, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University
March 15, 2019: "Reframing Work to Improve Wellbeing"
Featuring: Erin Weber
In our current economic system, people have to work to meet their needs, but lots of work doesn’t improve the wellbeing of people or the planet. Work that does improve wellbeing, like caregiving and pursuing education, are often poorly supported. This webinar will explore policy approaches on the state and federal level that shift the conversation from "more" stuff to "better" lives. By engaging policymakers through the frame of wellbeing rather than the economic bottom line, organizers in a myriad of policy areas can shift the political conversation from an entrenched focus on growth toward a focus on improving the quality of life of families communities.
January 16, 2019: "Bridging the Gap Between the SDG and Happiness Metrics"
Featuring: Leire Iriarte
This webinar aims to better understand the overlaps and gaps between the SDGs and happiness metrics. Given the lack of an overarching happiness metric, we have developed what we call Aggregate Happiness Index (AHI), based on different happiness metrics already in use. This AHI is benchmarked against the SDGs in order to better understand the interactions. We will discuss the results and the possibility of integrating the SDGs and happiness metrics.
December 14, 2018: "Gross National Happiness of Business: An Assessment Tool"
Featuring: Jigme Phuntsho
The Gross National Happiness (GNH) assessment for business is a tool to systematically assess a business establishment’s effort to integrate GNH values into its operations towards enhancing wellbeing and happiness of workers and the society at large. Following the domain-based GNH framework, the framework for assessment of business was developed using nine domains of GNH. These nine domains can broadly be grouped into two components; workers’ wellbeing and the organization’s commitment for wellbeing.
November 9, 2018: "A common agenda for the happiness movement and key findings from 'The Happiness Manifesto'"
Featuring: Stefano Bartolini
We live in rich countries, we have defeated mass poverty, we have access to consumer goods, education and health care and we live longer lives. However, studies on happiness in industrial countries depict a dismal portrait. Distress, mental illnesses, addictions, suicides and psychiatric drugs are on the rise in many countries. Why rich countries haven’t succeeded in combining economic development and wellbeing? The answer lies in the declining quality of our social and effective relationships. Our relationships have been sacrificed on the altar of material affluence, which knows only two imperatives: work and the consumption of material goods. Hence our increasing wealth of goods and penury of relationships. Hence our growing unhappiness. Bartolini’s book accompany us on a journey through the causes of and solutions to this contemporary malaise. Combining economic prosperity and happiness is as possible as it is necessary. Governments, political parties, entrepreneurs, managers, parents, teachers, and all of us have it in our power to redesign our world. We can change our schools, change our cities, reduce traffic and advertising.
October 12, 2018: “Will We Ever Get Beyond GDP?”
Featuring: Jon Hall
Jon Hall, Policy Specialist at UNDP in the Human Development Report Office, former manager of the OECD’s Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies, and author of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Measuring Australia’s Progress will speak about key lessons and pointers for policy makers using Beyond GDP data. Conversations about the need to go beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are as old as the numbers themselves. And yet data on economic output still holds enormous sway as a measure of national success. In this seminar, Jon Hall will talk about some of the arguments he has often heard raised against going beyond GDP, and some ideas for what else needs to happen before GDP really is dethroned.
September 27, 2018: "Sustainability through Happiness"
Featuring: Scott Cloutier
In this webinar, Scott Cloutier will briefly outline his applied research program as director of the Sustainability and Happiness Research Lab (Happy Lab). The Happiness Research Lab states that "by integrating happiness science and research, we seek to promote multiple pathways toward a happy, healthy and sustainable world. With open hearts and open minds, we empower communities to create loving relationships within themselves, with each other, the Earth, and all life." Scott will also provide insight into the Happy Hoods Projects, which are meant to simultaneously promote sustainability and opportunities for happiness.
June 1st, 2018: "Community Development and Community Well-Being: Finding Points of Intersection and Building for the Future"
Featuring: Rhonda Phillips, Craig Talmage, Kai Ludwigs
This webinar explains the joint project between The International Society for Quality-ofLife Studies and Community Development Society, who are working together to build community capacity between the organizations by developing and implementing an online community project, bringing together members and students interested in community development and community well-being. The speakers will give an overview of a project in the Greater Lafayette (USA) area that is focused on gauging happiness and well-being of residents in this community; as well as details about a Happiness Research Organization (Germany) to utilize a smart-phone based app to gather data from residents, and selected interviews with community stakeholders. The intent of the project is to define the intersection of this work in ways that can be used and recognized much more widely.
March 23, 2018: "Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index: Technically Rigorous? Policy Relevant? An Investigation after 5 years."
Featuring Sabina Alkire
Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index has intrigued many, as it reflects the articulate objective of a society in which 'Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.' However, the composition of the GNH Index is not widely understood. Nor do many see how it can shape national policies across many sectors. This seminar will share information on the methodology of the GNH index, which innovatively adapts the Alkire & Foster Counting based methodology often applied to poverty measurement. It will also share some information on its links to policies in Bhutan, and the kinds of conversations it catalyses in the wider society.
February 23rd: "Report from the 2nd Global Dialogue for Happiness at the World Government Summit in Dubai"
Featuring: Laura Musikanski
Laura Musikanski gives a report about the speakers and events at the 2nd Global Dialogue for Happiness at the World Government Summit in Dubai. This invitation only event is convened by Dubai’s Minister for the State of Happiness with the goal of knowledge sharing and development of thought leadership. The first Global Dialogue for Happiness featured speakers including Stieglitz, Helliwell, Sacks, Csikszentmihalyi, Clark, Tobgay, and many others. Laura will present key announcements and findings presented at the conference with, potentially short videos of the presenters, with an analysis of the meeting and thoughts for future directions.
January 26, 2018:"The Psychology of Happiness in the Modern World: A Social Psychological Approach"
Featuring: Jim Allen
Positive psychology has greatly increased our understanding of human happiness. However, the field takes a largely individualistic approach, emphasizing individual strengths such as gratitude, optimism, mindfulness, and conscientiousness, along with the importance of cultivating positive experiences and strong relationships. Consequently, the field teaches that each of us, as individuals, can increase our happiness in isolation from most of those around us by cultivating character strengths. However, while these individualistic factors are undoubtedly important, there are also many socio-structural influences on happiness that have been largely ignored.
December 8, 2017: "What do Intentional Communities got to do with Quality-of-Life? A talk connecting the dots between the human brain, happiness and how we choose to live together."
Featuring: Bjørn Grinde
Bjørn Grinde, author and researcher, speaks about the links between quality of life, the human brain and intentional communities. During this webinar, he will explain what intentional communities are, how he came to research them, and why they are of interest to him for research purposes. He will discuss the trial and joys of conducting research projects with intentional communities, and his findings about quality of life and the human brain, as well as directions for future research.
November 3, 2017: "How an Activist Researcher became a Cartoon Character: HyperCapitalism, Values, & Quality of Life"
Featuring: Tim Kasser
Tim Kasser is Professor & Chair of Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He has authored over 100 scientific articls and book chapters on materialism, valuse, and quality-of-life, among other topics. After the publication of his first book, "The High Price of Materialism", he was named a Distinguished Research Fellow by ISQOLS in 2003. In early 2018, he will release his fifth book, co-authored with the cartoonist Larry Gonick, and titled, "Hypercapitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values, and How to Change Them". In addition to his academic pursuits, Kasser consults frequently with activist groups who work against the commercialization of children and who encourage a more inwardly rich lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism.