Measures of Subjective Well-being for Public Policy

An inter-disciplinary international conference on “Measures of Subjective Well-being for Public Policy” took place at the University of Leeds, 13-15 July, 2012.

As the organisers explained:

The conference aimed to bring together philosophers and non-philosophers – from psychologists and sociologists to economists and public policy practitioners – to discuss the philosophical foundations of the use of measures of subjective well-being in public policy. There are many philosophical issues involved in such a practice, which have so far been relatively unexplored. These include:

How do measures of subjective well-being relate to philosophical accounts of happiness and well-being?

Are subjective well-being measures valid and prudentially relevant, and are they intra- and inter-personally comparable?

How do measures of subjective well-being relate to other measures of well-being, such as GDP? Can we compare these different kinds of measures?

How can and should measures of subjective well-being be used to monitor progress, inform policy design, and appraise policy?

Do such measures lead towards a new kind of political utilitarianism?

These issues have been largely unexplored in part because of the lack of dialogue between philosophers and non-philosophers working on the role of subjective well-being in public policy. This conference sought to bridge that gap, offering an opportunity to promote inter-disciplinary dialogue on how well-being research might best be applied to policy-making.

The presentations were filmed, and are now available to view here on You Tube

About Mary Robson

Mary is the Arts in Health and Education Associate at the Centre for Medical Humanities.
This entry was posted in Announcements, Conferences, Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

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