Happiness is a warm gun .. or the inside of a museum ?
In 1968 the Beatles crooned: “Happiness (is a warm gun), bang bang shoot shoot, happiness (is a warm gun, momma), bang bang shoot shoot.”
Banging and shooting definitely helps the happy for a lot of people, I think.
But apparently that’s not all.
The following article appeared in The Straits Times yesterday (25 May 2011). Nothing we humanities and arts grads didn’t already know, especially with regards to earning power: we don’t get no respect. Oy.
The high happiness quotient at museums and concerts though, is a bit of a surprise. I think that only applies to museum goers, ’cause I’ve interned in a couple of museums in my time, and people there didn’t strike me as being overly cheerful. And what about those incessant naggers who complain of boredom whenever they step into one (a museum) ? Perhaps the Norwegians are a breed apart.
CULTURE AND ARTS MAKE YOU HAPPIER, BUT NOT WEALTHIER
Paris: The arts may make you happier but not richer.
According to a study released yesterday, people who go to museums and concerts or create art or play an instrument are more satisfied with their lives.
And feeling good differs for men and women, according to the study, published in the British Medical Association’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
For men, passive activities such as taking in a concert or museum exhibition are associated with an upbeat mood and better health. Women need to be more active, feeling less anxious, depressed or unwell if they played music or created art.
Researchers led by Mr Koenraad Cuypers of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology surveyed 50,797 adults in Norway.
The results were unambiguous and somewhat unexpected: Not only was there a strong correlation between cultural activities and happiness, but also men felt better as spectators whereas women preferred doing to watching.
The study found that wealth and education were not an issue.
Meanwhile, another study by researchers at Georgetown University’s Centre on Education and the Workforce found that over a lifetime, the earnings of workers who majored in engineering, computer science or business are as much as 50 per cent higher than the earnings of those who majored in the humanities, the arts, education and psychology.
It found that the median annual income for someone with a bahcelor’s degree in engineering was US$75,000 (S$93,500), and US$47,000 in the humanities, US$44,000 in the arts and US$42,000 in education or psychology.
The individual major with the highest median income was petroleum engineering, at US$120,000, followed by pharmaceutical sciences at US$105,000, and mathematics and computer sciences at US$98,000.
“I don’t want to slight Shakespeare,” said Dr Anthony Carnevale, one of the report’s authors. “But this study slights Shakespeare.”
Agence France-Presse, Washington Post