Mapping Transylvanian happiness

The Positive Psychology Research Team of the Budapest Eötvös Loránd Science University (ELTE) has embarked on a project to map the happiness of Transylvanians, news portal Székelyhon reports. In cooperation with the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, the projects is meant to compare happiness levels in Transylvanian regions and also with their previous research mapping Hungary.

The leader of the project on behalf of the Sapientia University is Tímea Krizbai, assistant professor at the Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș applied social sciences department of the University.

“Happiness is a complex phenomenon, comprised among others of an individual’s well-being in terms of their emotional, physical, intellectual and social relationships” Krizbai said. The team is currently gathering empirical data and all Transylvanian residents are invited to fill out the associated questionnaire on this dedicated site.

“We have no preconceptions regarding the outcome of the study, but we do know that Hungary is fairly badly positioned in various Happy Planet rankings and Romania is slightly better off”, Krizbai said.

The Hungarian research conducted last year showed that while the regional differences have remained largely unchanged in the country over the past two decades, overall happiness levels – as indicated by the World Happiness Report – had shown a gradual increase: while the country was only ranked 112th among the 156 countries included in the 2012 report, last year it was placed 69th.

The Hungarian research also indicated that an individual’s happiness is at around 60 percent, defined by an inner “thermostat” that will keep it relatively steady regardless of conditions, while the remaining 40 percent of the factors defining it can be altered by individual choices and lifestyles.

Author: Dénes Albert