Josefin Malmqvist

Conservatives have more fun.


At least that’s what Arthur Brooks argue in his new book, Gross National Happiness. He writes periodically on the blog freakonomics on the topic of happiness, among other things arguing that religious conservatives are more philanthropic than secular liberals.

”For three decades, the General Social Survey has asked a nationwide sample of adults, “Taken all together, how happy would you say you are these days? Would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” Here is a representative sample of the results:

• In 2004, 44 percent of respondents who said they were “conservative” or “very conservative” said they were “very happy,” versus just 25 percent of people who called themselves “liberal” or “very liberal.” (Note that this comparison uses unweighted data — when the data are weighted, the gap is 46 percent to 28 percent.)

• Adults on the political right are only half as likely as those on the left to say, “At times, I think I am no good at all.” They are also less likely to say they are dissatisfied with themselves, that they are inclined to feel like a failure, or to be pessimistic about their futures. ”

Read the first of his blog posts here where he also explains what these numbers does not show.

And some further reading. This is an embarrasing attempt to pseudo-science, or what do you think?