Almost no one is happy all the time, and unhappiness is a common experience for most people. But looking at anecdotal evidence, age seems to be a factor that has a strong effect on unhappiness. While most of us perceive young kids as rather happy, mid-adulthood seems to be an age that is particularly difficult, as suggested by the term “midlife crisis.” While the midlife crisis is an established phenomenon, more recently the term “quarter-life crisis” has been coined to describe an increase in unhappiness that some people experience in their 20s. However, whether these age-related increases in unhappiness are just individual reports or a general phenomenon that can be found in most people across different countries has been unclear so far. A new study, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (Blanchflower, 2020), systematically investigated this question in a large sample of people. In the study, the author analyzed data from more than 14 million participants from over 40 different countries. Specifically, participants had answered questions regarding the following thematic groups related to unhappiness: 1. Mental Health (this category included questions about having many “not good” mental health days, suffering from depression, being worried, feeling sad, experiencing stress, being under strain,… Read full this story
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