Why the Long Face?

Author: Marieth Coetzer Faculty Mentor: John Heathcote Department: Mathematics Institution: Reedley College Institutional Address: Reedley College, 995 North Reed Ave Reedley, CA 93654

In 2008, the government of Bhutan announced that, in addition to the traditional GDP measurement, it would adopt a happiness index with which to measure its citizens’ wellbeing. This decision inspired the United Nations to release the first world Happiness Report in 2012 with the objective of rethinking “the economic sources of well-being”. They identified key factors, such as social support and generosity, using survey results gathered by the Gallup World Poll. In a time of escalating debates about policy-making and its relationship to the human pursuit of happiness, a quantitative investigation into happiness is helpful for making data-based decisions. Understanding the relationship between happiness and social support is especially important during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many individuals are physically isolated from their communities. This study intends to correlate additional variables, such as education, family size, and divorce rates with measures of social support in the World Happiness Report’s top twenty countries. These additional variables will be taken from publicly available databases such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Data Bank. Correlation will be established using Pearson’s r for interval variables and point biserial correlation for dichotomous variables. Additionally, key factors will be processed through a three-dimensional model to graphically demonstrate the changes over time. The most significant positive and negative results will be shown in the context of pointing towards social support trends observable by Pearson’s r. These significant results will be explored further by adding additional countries to the test or looking at related variables, depending on the data available. The resulting enhanced social insight can serve to inform governments, businesses, and educational institutions to make improved decisions during this crucial time.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Marieth Coetzer

Institution: Reedley College

Type: Poster

Subject: Mathematics

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5568