Konstantin Augemberg on Tracking Happiness
April 15, 2013
How can I lead a happier life? I’m sure this is something we’ve all asked ourselves. Maybe it was during a turn through doldrums or maybe you asked yourself how you could sustain your happiness during a moment of joy. Whatever the case happiness, and by extension mood tracking, has been at the forefront of engaging in a Quantified Self practice for many individuals.
Konstanin Augemberg is no exception. A statistician by trade, Konstantin has been involved with numerous self-tracking projects in order to “empirically demonstrate that any aspect of my everyday life can be quantified and logged on a regular basis, and that the knowledge from these numbers can be used to help me live better.” In February Konstanin presented the methods and results of his ongoing Hacking Happiness project at the New York City QS Meetup (read on for a full description):
What did he do?
Konstantin explains this project as a way to measure his happiness and then identify and define the factors that are associated (positively or negatively) with his self-reported happiness. With this project he hopes to define his own personal “happiness formula.” He tested three different theories in order to identify the factors most related to his happiness. For this project he ended up tracking for 34 days.
How did he do it?
First, he had to gather his happiness score. He used the $.99 rTraker app in order to self-rate his happiness on a 10-point sliding scale every morning, afternoon, and evening. In addition to rating his happiness he also tracked different psychosocial variables he gathered from three different sources: the Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being, Schwartz Value Theory, and lastly a list of his everyday activities and how much time he spent on them.
What did he learn
Overall he found that he was able to capture some important variables that were associated with his happiness. From measuring factors derived from the Ryff scale he found that his happiness was positive associated with Mastery, Purpose, Independence, and Growth. His second examination led him to conclude that his happiness was positive associated with Independence, Purpose, Creativity, and Health. Finally, he found that spending time with his partner, spending time with his dog, cooking, and relaxing were related to being happier. Interestingly he also found that both work and spending time on fitness was negatively associated with his happiness.
This was a first run at exploring his data and testing a few different theories. Be sure to click through his presentation below to learn more about the scales Konstantin used and his preliminary conclusions. You can also follow along with his ongoing exploration of happiness and a multitude of additional tracking projects over at his excellent blog, Measured Me.