Ruut Veenhoven , Dan Buettner and Toben Nelson
Journal of Happiness Studies: Accepted for publication September 23 2018
In the first round of this Delphi study 14 experts suggested strategies for improving life-satisfaction. In a second round, the experts rated these strategies for a) effectiveness, b) feasibility and c) cost-effectiveness. They considered 56 strategies policy makers can use to raise average happiness in a nation and 68 ways in which individuals can raise their own happiness. Experts were informed about the average ratings made by the panel and about the arguments advanced. Then, in a third round, experts made their final judgments. Summed ratings for average effectiveness and feasibility of the strategies ranged between 8,4 and 4.9 on scale 2-10, which means that most of the recommendations were deemed suitable. Agreement was slightly higher on policy strategies than on individual ways to greater happiness.
Policy strategies deemed the most effective and feasible are: 1) investing in happiness research, 2) support of vulnerable people and 3) improving the social climate, in particular by promoting voluntary work and supporting non-profits.
ndividual strategies deemed most effective are: a) investing in social networks, b) doing meaningful things and c) caring for one’s health.
Keywords: life-satisfaction, research review, policy advice, utilitarianism