Happiness is difficult to measure, with current approaches relying on directly asking individuals to evaluate their level of happiness. This approach necessitates respondents’ ability to express themselves adequately, and therefore obviously excludes those who cannot do so, such as infants or people with disabilities as well as animals. The inability to measure happiness in animals hampers our current understanding of the biology underlying wellbeing. In this talk, I will present several ongoing studies from the lab aimed at making us determine emotional states across species by automatically tracking behavior as well as personality. As individuals differ in what makes them happy, personality traits, to a large extent, are associated with happiness. Thus, for instance, events which extroverts experience as positive (e.g., attending a crowded party), introverts may perceive as the exact opposite. In general, happiness can be viewed as an inner force that drives us to behave according to our nature and character. We argue that happiness can be objectively quantified in both humans and animals by comparing their actual behaviors with the behaviors anticipated by their personalities. Since our approach is not species-specific, it allows us, for the first time, to examine our hypothesis of measuring happiness from multiple and complementary viewpoints. Apart from happiness questionnaires and tracking people’s movement, we plan to use animals and test cognitive-bias, physiology, productivity, natural behaviors, and more.
חדר 2102 מדעי החברה
Oren Forkosh (HUJI)