For the first time in three decades, nearly 1 in 4 Americans have not had sex in the past year! As it turns out, according to an article found in the Salt Lake Tribune, age is a major predictor - those who were more likely to abstain from sex were older than 60 or under 30! On this episode we discuss some of the potential reasons for this trend.
Bullying in grade school is a well-researched topic. There are tons of campaigns aimed at reducing bullying at schools, creating a safe and welcoming environment, and ensuring that the adverse consequences of bullying are avoided. On this episode, Kacey and Carl talk about an interesting project the team at Ology is currently working on, which will be presented through the New York State Public Health Association’s Best Practices & Innovations Webinar Series on November 20th of this year. In this conversation, they discuss their motivations behind choosing the topic, statistical methods and what’s desired as they contribute the study to the fields of public health and education, research and practice.
Have you ever heard anyone say that a glass of wine is good for the heart? Well, according to an article published on the Lancet on August 23rd, 2018, which looked at global patterns of alcohol consumption states, “...the safest level of drinking is none. This level is in conflict with most health guidelines, which espouse health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day”. On this episode, we wanted to have a conversation about social drinking, binge drinking, not drinking at all and casual drinking. Does contemporary research on alcohol change our drinking behaviors?
According to an article published in Science Advances, sociologist Elizabeth Bruch, Ph.D., and Mark Newman, Ph.D., a physics professor, collected DMs received by online daters across four cities to determine level of desirability. On this episode, we discuss trends in online dating, usage of data to identify social patterns and of course - social implications and new knowledge that can come from this!
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that nearly 45,000 Americans commit suicide each year. The average rate of suicide in 2015 was 13.26 per 100,000 in the population. In the same year, the states of Montana, Wyoming and Alaska were the top 3 states for suicide attempts, way above the national average, and the state of New Jersey was the state with the least amount of suicides per 100,000 residents. On today's episode, in light of the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, we wanted to have a conversation about trends, motivations and facts around this public health and social issue, as well as share some ideas on how to prevent or reduce suicide in the population.
Technological advances have made our lives easier, more efficient and connected in unimaginable ways. Nonetheless, there have been many critics of the evolution of modern technology, and some, such as Franklin Foer, author of “World Without Mind” argues that Silicon Valley will lead us to our doom. On today’s episode, we wanted to take a moment and explore the relationship between humans, technology, choice, privacy, and of course, a tech induced doom.
Podcast By: Ology Research Group
Blog By: Maisha H. Okae*
Can money buy happiness? Many would agree that that certainly is the case!
However, our preliminary research has taught us that there are also economists, happiness researchers and psychologist survey data which shows that social forces have influenced the extent to which money can buy happiness. Some of these social forces can include increases in the number of hours worked, turnover in employment and perhaps even differences in marriage and divorce rates.
According to a 2001 article in the New York Times, between 1970 to 1999, survey results showed that the average American family received a 16% raise, however the percentage of people who identified as “very happy” dropped from 36% to 29%. The article also alludes to the fact that compared to the 1970’s, women are happier than men today because more women are in the workforce.
Psychologists, however, have stated that perception of happiness is based on self-evaluation, hence, when that perception shifts, it is difficult to quantify happiness from a definite standpoint and how it relates to money!
Money may appear to be a driving force for happiness, in certain situations. For instance, money can make a big difference to the poor, but a wealthier person may need a lot more money to shift their state of happiness. An article found on WebMD shows that people from developing countries are happier than those from developed countries. The US, which has the highest income, is the 16th when it comes to life satisfaction and the 26th for positive feelings!
The article also shows that money determines happiness, but, there is no statistical evidence that money buys happiness. It is hypothesized that you begin to be at a “happy level” when you are at an annual salary of $75,000. The attribution of money to happiness could be relative to the time, space and personal emotional standing at the time of the survey. We believe that one survey cannot be used across board to reflect every group and level of happiness, because there are different levels at which money affects relationship. That is not to say, that there are also differences in the purchasing power of $75,000 across state lines, and income can also be affected by number of people this income provides sustenance for, as an example.
Per the WebMD article, money can buy happiness indirectly since money is a means to engage in activities that could make you happy. However, this may not apply to developing countries! The study shows that the relationship between money and happiness depends on one’s perception of happiness; but, I think there’s much more to a happy life than just money. Positive feelings, self-esteem, low incidences of corruption, and quality of social relationships, can also make life more enjoyable. A higher income country does not necessarily mean it’s citizens will report higher happiness or positive feelings. On that same note, people from poor countries may not necessarily be unhappy. While there is no general prescription for happiness, and money is not a guarantee that people will be happy, the availability of money increases the probability of a person’s happiness since money helps one to meet needs. It is worthy to note that Leon Festinger, an American social psychologist who developed the cognitive dissonance theory, states that individuals tend to conform to their beliefs and opinion, but something changes when there is some level of disparity between attitudes and behavior, which alters self-perception – which surfaces the question, is “happiness” a completely subjective idea?
What do you think? Does money really buy happiness or do social forces influence the extent to which money can buy happiness or both. Is the experience of money and happiness, rather geographical, genetic, or perception based?
We'd like to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll make sure to include you in our upcoming show!
*Maisha H. Okae is a Research Associate at Ology Research Group. She is presently a doctoral student, pursuing her PhD degree in the Social Sciences with an emphasis in Conflict Resolution studies. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy and Conflict Management.
Welcome to ORGanon, the podcast where we explore contemporary social issues via data, insights and change. In this extremely casual and candid preliminary episode, we take a moment to introduce you to the Ology Research Group team! Here, the team is introduced (Kacey, Carl, Courtney and Jazmin), our background and interests discussed and our plans for this weekly PodCast, a bit about our consultancy, vision and we also explain what the heck “ORGanon” means! Make sure to subscribe to our show, and if you want to keep in touch or if there is a topic you want us to dig into, reach out to us via email at email@example.com or via Twitter at @OlogyResearch. Welcome to the team! Happy listening!