Monthly Article Archives: February 2008

Want to Enjoy Life? Research Says to Skip Your 40sRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Last week media around the world reported the findings of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and Dartmouth College in the United States. The study, which was extensive, is reported in Social Science and Medicine, published by Elsevier. It involves data obtained from two million people in 80 countries during the past 30 years. The data were derived from two multi-decade surveys of happiness and satisfaction completed by approximately 500,000 American and Western European men and women, four administrations of the “World Values Survey” conducted between 1981 and 2004 in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Central and South America, and a 2004-2007 survey of one million Britons. I have not had the opportunity to read the actual study or review the research instruments that were used. However, as I searched for information on the internet, I was fascinated by the various accounts of and responses to this study reported in newspapers and magazines. I was also struck by the headlines that accompanied these stories, headlines that provide a sense of the major findings of the study. The following are a sample: “Middle-Aged? Join the Misery Club” “Depression:

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