Happiness U-shape for Seattle University v. ...

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Layla Khademi, Chelsea Heller, Susie Babadzhanov, Sam French November 20, 2018 MKTG 4910 01: Consumption and Happiness Happiness Index Analysis

Our Class: Cantril’s Ladder Average: 7.65 Overall Satisfaction Average: 7.56

Other SU Students: Cantril’s Ladder Average: 7.64 Overall Satisfaction Average: 7.41

UW Data Science Students: Cantril’s Ladder Average: 6.75 Overall Satisfaction Average: 6.54

Marital Status (Married): Cantril’s Ladder Average: 6.26 Overall Satisfaction Average: 6.11

Gender: SU Gender 1: Cantril’s Ladder: 7.66
Overall Satisfaction: 7.35

SU Gender 2: Cantril’s Ladder: 7.62 Overall Satisfaction: 7.65

According to the “U-Bend of Life” article in “The Economist”, happiness and overall life satisfaction change throughout a person’s life. This relationship between age and happiness takes the form of a “U-shape,” as you are born happy and then general happiness declines at around 45-50 years (prime “mid-life crisis” age) and then happiness and overall satisfaction of life then increases from that point. Based on the data, the overall high happiness scores of Seattle University students could be explained by this “U-bend” relationship as college students are typically between the ages of 18-25 and would therefore may not experience the decreasing happiness characterized with being older. Alternatively, since Seattle University does not have as large of a sample as University of Washington, Seattle University’s scores might not be a great indicator of this relationship. University of Washington’s scores, on average, are almost one point less than Seattle University’s scores and could help show the declining trend of happiness and satisfaction of life in people aged 18-25. Some explanations for this declining trend include the lack of face-to-face interaction between people in the wake of increasing usage of social media, high tuition costs leading to staggeringly-high student debt, or an amalgamation of these factors giving rise to growing depression diagnoses in the Millennial generation. When comparing happiness scores between genders, the Cantril’s Ladder scores between men and women suggests that women are slightly more satisfied than men (women averaged 7.65 and men averaged 7.35). This result is consistent with a finding noted in the “U-Bend of Life” article where women were slightly happier than men overall, however they were more likely to experience more extreme emotions and were more susceptible to depression (a fifth to a quarter of women stated that they experienced depression compared to a tenth of men). This phenomenon may explain our findings regarding overall life satisfaction. We found that men had a slightly higher score than women, which could be caused by women experiencing more extreme emotions, as well as having a higher susceptibility to depression. Our group thought that the reason that women experience more extreme emotions and were more susceptible to depression was because of hormonal fluctuations throughout life that are exclusive to women. Another variable that our group observed specifically was the happiness of people not in a relationship in comparison to married people. Initially, our group thought that married people would report overall higher happiness because they were in a committed, consistent, and meaningful relationship (all of which were factors that, according to the book, were attributable to a person’s happiness). However, the Cantril ladder average of 6.26 and overall life satisfaction of 6.11 of married people were the lowest compared to all the variables we observed! We thought that this could be potentially be again explained by the “U-Bend”, since married people tend to be older than the typical college student. However, another explanation our group thought of was, that being focused on one main relationship (i.e. marriage) may prevent married people from spending time and energy on other relationships. From the “Connecting Through Collaborative Consumption” article, it highlighted that having diverse relationships made people significantly happier, heathlier, and live longer. Within the article, the author mentions a case study where they injected participants with the “common cold” and researchers found that participants that had more diverse social connections were less likely to get sick. If we were to test which of our explanations contributed to the results that were observed, we would perform a longitudinal case study. We thought that a longitudinal case study would be the best fit because it would allow for data to be collected throughout the lives of participants and could provide insights that observing different people of different ages probably would not exhibit. Additionally, our proposed longitudinal study would specifically observe gender differences and note how particular bodily milestones impact happiness and overall life satisfaction. This study would be similar to the Harvard study that we discussed in class, but would include women to attain more accuracy in results.

Team Assignment: Facilitation Presentation




Team work is an important skill, and proper evaluation of individual work in team projects is an important part of grading. This team project should provide students with a number of teamwork capabilities: ● All team members should be able to manage the project, including assigning responsibilities to all individuals and monitoring the performance of individuals. ● All team members should be comfortable offering criticism in a courteous, constructive way. ● All team members should be able to describe their individual contributions. ● All team members should establish ownership of the group project.

Completing this “Statement of Work” as a team encourages you all to engage in the preceding aspects of teamwork and gives me information that can be used to establish fair grades for each person. This document must be completed and signed by each member of the team, and a single hard copy of this document should be submitted in class on the day that a team assignment is due.

Team Member Name Please Succinctly Describe this Team Member’s Contributions to this Team Project

Chelsea Heller Analyzed the data and calculated the averages in excel. Thought up possible explanations.

Layla Khademi Analyzed the data and brainstormed explanations. Worked on slides. Susie Babadzhanov Worked on presentation, sorted data, brainstormed explanations. Sam French Added two slides and summarized findings.

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