Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happiness, Beyond the Data -

This one might not make the team cuts when I moderate the panel “Human Factors in Data Quality” at the 2013 MIT Chief Data Officer & Information Quality Symposium this July, but it’s worth noting the limits—and the overall skepticism about—quantitative studies on human phenomena.

Happiness studies are booming in the social sciences, and governments are moving toward quantitative measures of a nation’s overall happiness, meant to supplement traditional measures of wealth and productivity. The resulting studies have a high noise-to-signal ratio, but we can expect that work with an aura of scientific rigor on something as important as happiness is going to be taken seriously. Still, our first-person experience and reflection can catch crucial truths about happiness that escape the quantitative net.

Happiness, Beyond the Data -

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