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Don't worry: Happiness conference attracts international scholars

Author: Arts and Letters


What is happiness? How do we measure happiness? What should be done to increase the amount of happiness in the world?

These are some of the questions to be addressed Oct. 22 to 24 (Sunday to Tuesday) at an international conference at the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

Titled “New Directions in the Study of Happiness: United States and International Perspectives,” the conference will bring together leading social scientists and humanities scholars from around the world to present and evaluate contributions to the rapidly growing academic field of happiness studies. The conference is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Department of Economics and Policy Studies and Department of Political Science

“The notion of happiness doesn’t lend itself to scientific study the way something like voting does,” said Benjamin Radcliff, a Notre Dame political scientist who studies how political, economic and social factors affect quality of life. “But it is possible to scientifically measure the extent to which people find their lives satisfying and to measure overall quality of life. Scholars have developed the intellectual infrastructure necessary to measure life satisfaction in large, representative samples and, thus, to test hypotheses about the real-world conditions that promote greater levels of well-being.”

The conference also will address issues related to justice and happiness, money and happiness, and the social and political arrangements that increase happiness.

Additional sponsors include the Department of Sociology’s Center for Social Movements and Social Change, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.

More information is available at: .

Originally published by Susan Guibert at on October 12, 2006.