How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know

In this article, a town in Somerville, Massachusetts was given a unrealistic survey allowing their residents to rate their “happiness” in a census. 

Wanting to be the first city in the United States, the Officials thought that tracking the happiness in a town with the population of 76,000 was a good idea.  Knowing that each person has an different outlook on what it is to be happy,  I don’t see the sense in this pointless survey at all.  Being stated that “more than 7,500 people have mailed back the survey” lets me know, and any reader with common sense, that could be more or less 10 percent of the residents. 

Wow, that’s a lot!  Next time I pay rent, I’ll pay 10 percent so I can see what difference it makes on my landlord. 

For this town to be between two well known universities, I assumed even the person delivering their daily newspaper would have had a better proposal on finding how to make their town better.  “We need to change our mind-set in how we serve people,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, I agree.  Finding different ways to help the people in our cities live better is something to be optimistic about but doing a survey that only received about 10 percent of feedback is not going to do the job.  If the citizens’ opinions really mean anything, greater measures should be taken to achieve the goals set to improve the happiness and well-being of the towns’ people.

Overall, I thought the article was “sweet” but thoughtless at the same time.  I felt that the responses that were mentioned from some of the residents really weren’t honest.  I even believe that the survey was honestly not taken seriously by most of the people that responded.  To actually measure the happiness of even a small group of people, you would have to get to know each person individually.  That takes too much time and actually having to get a …. care. 

 [Revision for 9/12]

The article “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know” written by John Tierney is about a census that was sent out to residents of Somerville, Massachusetts rating their happiness.  The Officials of Boston want to track the happiness of their residents to see if by doing so it can help to better aide in the well-being of their towns people.  The author gives a brief mentioning of the responses and reactions from some of the residents.  Also, psychologist and economists are helping in figuring out how the rating can actually help and which routes to take to further understand whether happiness is something useful for politicians endurance.

 [Reflection]

The change that I made was I didn’t include my own personal opinions.  When writing a summary, you are to be to just rewrite in your own words the main idea of the assigned reading.

Summary of “How Happy are you”

This article talks about the citizens of Somerville Massachusetts filling a survey in 2011 that question them “On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you now “. 7,500 people mailed the survey back many of them not really answering the question but the article mentions a particular man that rate it  his happiness with a 6. The man explains the reason behind why he rate his happiness with a 6 was because wants to be 3 inches taller and fluent in Quechua . The article also mentions that Mayor Joseph and how rapidly he approved this survey. Mayor Joseph believe that focusing on people happiness was more important than economic growth, Mr  Curtatone  also agree and mention that “cities keep careful track of finances but a bond rating doesn’t tell us about how people feel.Dr Gilbert’s believe that asking this question was a great a great idea to understand more of the residents feelings towards the town. Also the residents are really happy and flatter with the government attention and changes that they made to the town  to make it more comfortable and better environment.Officials hope to continue with this type of surveys and compare with other towns.

“How Happy Are you?”

According to John Tierney’s article “Leaders in Britain and France,” are not the only ones concern about the happiness of their people. The United States also is involved in the people’s emotions specifically Somerville, Massachusetts. John Tierney described it as “promote policies that produce more than just material well-being.” This might be his way of saying that the leaders that citizens look up to is finally making a change based on the mood the people are in.

The census asked “On a scale of 1-10 how happy do you feel right now?” Many people answered unfaithfully because they were already happy, or they’ve done something they enjoy doing. Many answered “10.” However, many people were truthful with their answer. “One man gave himself a 6, explaining, I would like to be three inches taller and speak Quechua fluently.” In this census we get a mixture of data. Mr. Tierney added that it is a “perfect test tube” because somerville is a “growing population of young professionals and academics.” In some areas were nicked named “Slummerville” due to the crime rates  and reputations.

Mayor Joseph may have disagreed with Mr.Tierney and found a counterargument saying “We need to change our mind-set in how we serve people.” He also called it “a no-brainer” due to the lack of honesty of answers in the census. Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor was introduced to the census. He helped “detailed telephone survey, using randomized sample of Somerville’s 76,000 residents.” Now the census becoming effective because it is randomly selecting people in the city and having a person asking you the question rather than a paper can clear out misinterpretation that can how happy a person truly is.

[Revision of the summary 9/11]

According to John Tierney’s article, “How Happy Are You? A census Wants to Know” are not the only ones concern about the happiness of their people. The United States also is involved in the people’s emotions specifically Somerville, Massachusetts. John Tierney described it as “promote policies that produce more than just material well-being. Mayor Joseph may have disagreed with Mr.Tierney He also called it “a no-brainer” due to the lack of honesty of answers in the census. Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor was introduced to the census. He helped “detailed telephone survey, using randomized sample of Somerville’s 76,000 residents.” Now the census becoming effective because it is randomly selecting people in the city and having a person asking you the question rather than a paper can clear out misinterpretation that can how happy a person truly is.

Summary of ” How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know”

The census forms about happiness were taken by the residents of Somerville, 

Massachusetts in the spring of 2011. Some of those questions on the survey 

that were being asked are How satisfied are you with your life in general?

Taking everything into account, how satisfied are you with Somerville as a 

place to live?When making decisions, are you more likely to seek advice 

or decide for yourself? In general, how similar are you to other people you 

know?” etc. And a new added question of asking them to rate how happy do 

they feel while taking the survey on a scale of 1 to 10. 

By collecting and analyzing the data of the surveys, the officials of Somerville 

wanted to promote policies that can improve the happiness and the feelings of 

the people more than just focusing on economic growth. As Mayor Joseph A. 

Curtatone said  We need to change our mind-set in how we serve people, cities 

keep careful track of their finances, but a bond rating doesn’t tell us how people 

feel or why they want to raise a family here or relocate a business here. However, 

psychologist and economists were debating over the issues of how to do it and whether 

it is a right thing for the politicians to promote their policies. Some of those 7500 survey 

responses also stated the other concerns other than just municipal concerns. On the other 

hand, Dr. Gilbert stated Social policies are always meant to promote things that promote 

happiness Thus, we can see that there were many concerns regarding to the officials 

happiness promotions. It is a long way for them to compromise on the debates regarding 

the issue.

Officials had thought of many ways of attempting to make people happier. For example, 

they wanted to improve the transit services by building more parks and bike paths and 

creating well-being index, etc. Most of the residents of the city might think that 

conducting the survey is an effective way for the officials to find out what should they 

do in order to improve the happiness of the people because those were the personal 

opinions of the people that are living there. And they would feel that the city did care 

about them. But there would be still some biases about the census. As what Conor 

Brennan once said Of course, any survey like this is going to depend on the mood of 

the person at that moment. If they filled it out in the middle of this last winter, that’s 

probably going to lower the score. Therefore, the feelings of the people during the 

time that the survey was taking may not be representative for the whole time. But those

changes that officials wanted to make might be still good for the city.

 

[ Revision for 9/12/2013 ]

The article ” How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know” is written by John Tierney , which talks about the census forms that is taken by the residents of Somerville,

Massachusetts in the spring of 2011. By collecting and analyzing the data of the surveys, 

the officials of Somerville wants to promote policies that can improve the 

happiness of  the people more than just focusing on economic growth.

However, psychologist and economists are debating over the issue.

Officials think of many ideas of attempting to make people happier.

But there are still some biases about the census. As what Conor Brennan once said Of course, any survey like this is going to depend 

on the mood of the person at that moment. If they filled it out in the middle 

of this last winter, that’s probably going to lower the score.

[ Reflection ]

One of the reasons that I want to revise my summary of the article because it’s too long, which there are three paragraphs before. I put too many details, personal views and quotes in it. Also, another thing that I learned in today’s class discussion about the summary is that I need to mention about the author and the title of the article. And the summary of the article should be written in present tense.

 

How happy are you?

somerville-ma-homes

This article is regarding the town of Somerville, Massachusetts. In this town the government started a survey to see how happy people are. In the survay people has to rate their happiness on a scale from 1 unhappy to 10 happiest.The government have been changing the towns to see how the changes affect with peoples happiness. They are altering with the towns look, transits, and roads. The people were also asked about the things that help the community stay together “the police, the schools, the availability of affordable housing — as well as the “beauty or physical setting” of Somerville“. Also, another reason that the government is doing this is to see how they can make Somerville a more happily living environment for its people and to see how by altering with the town will affect the economy. Before, the town was known for its crimes and was nickedname Slummerville but then the town went through gentrification and the name was dropped overtime. Vanessa Lagerman, 28, a resident of the town even said “I think it’s a good thing, because policies can be changed to make people happier.”Other residents also said they felt flattered by the city’s attention.

I believe that these changes can lead to a good cause because when you bring a community closer and closer by the day everyone would get along and happiness would be floating through the air. When a community doesn’t have communication in my point of view would crumble down, so if the residents of Somerville lose connection with each other it can possibly end up been named Slummerville again.

[Revise For Thurs 9/12/13]

In the town of Somerville, Massachusetts is recently trying to implied a survey with the USA census that will ask the people about their happiness and how the community affects how happy they are. In the survey the government is trying to collect data on how the towns Physical look, transportation, roads est. affect the peoples feelings. They are also trying to use the results of the survey to see how they can change the policies to see if it affect peoples daily life in a positive way or negative. With the data collected they can use the results to  hopefully find ways to help people better their life in the community.

[Reflection]

I chose the above word (Revision) instead of adding all the extra detail from my previous writing because when writing a summary you need to write what the Articles main purpose is. Also, when writing a summary you need to add certain important information that will help the reader better understand the article without actually reading it. If you add extra writing what can happen is that the reader can get lost in your trying to point out, so write the main idea, purpose, what the writer (of the article) is trying to get people to understand.

How happy are you? A census wants to know

In the most recent census made by Somerville, Massachusetts a new question was asked to its residents “In a scale of 10 how happy do you feel right now?” One of the reasons of why this state is doing this is because they want to get out of the traditional concepts (they want to know about people’s well-being instead of just their material and economic issues). even though many politicians were debating about how to promote their polices by asking about the people’s feelings it didn’t created a big difference to the people because they were answering to the question without any fear and been honest like this man who answered that he could give himself a 6 explaining, “I would like to be three inches taller and speak Quechua fluently.”

As the New York times said, this new question that the census has created for the state  is giving more positive opinions to the people because they could have the opportunity to feel protected in some way but also they would know that the government is worried about them and worried about creating a better place for them to live, somewhere where they could feel secure and comfortable. in my personal opinion I think that creating this question that goes directly to the citizens feelings is a good idea because at some point i think that happiness also depends on the place and area where you are and the people surrounded by them. For example, if you live in an area where there’s a lot of crime and danger I am sure you will feel worried or disappointed instead of happy, so that’s why the politicians wants to know how you are feeling so that the could do everything in order to make you feel comfortable and happy.

 

Revision for Th 9/12

Recently in Somerville Massachusstes a new question was added to the census with the goal to know how happy people are, the question was, “on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy do you feel right now? According to the article, more than 7500 people have mailed the survey, which shows that people are taking seriously about this new question. This new idea that Sommerville officials have with this question might serve as a perfect test tube for such an experiment because as the time is passing this town have gentrified and renewed in every possible way. Since this question was created Sr. Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor have been donating his time by making phone calls to residents and asking them this type of question in order to help the government to using a randomized sample of Sommerville’s 76000 residents. Officials in the area hope to see their residents answering the questions because by that they could try to find a solution to make the place a better place to live and make the residents feel comfortable.

Reflection:

The reason of why I decided to  revise my summary is because when when I wrote it the fist time I gave my personal opinion and what I think of creating this question for the residents. Also I revised it because on Tuesday I learned different techniques to make it look better for example not making it too long or too short depending on the article, I changed the information on it because I realized I had a lot of not important information and the information that needed to be there wasn’t on my summary.

Summary of “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know”

Residents of Somerville, Massachusetts have been questioned, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how happy do you feel right now?”. Cencus forms have been passed out to residents residing in Somerville, MA, with over 7500  people mailing back their response. With some answers not being limited about their hometown, one man says he would like to to be 3 inches taller and to speak Quecha fluently.  This shows that people can have different types of happiness, not limited to just municipal concerns.

With help from Somerville’s neighbor Dr. Gilbert, he conducted a detailed telephone survey researching people’s happiness, using random samples of Somerville’s 76,000 residents. Stating that  social policies are always spreading things that promote happiness, how could it hurt to directly measure the very thing that you want to know about happiness? With things such as longer breaks, or more vacation days, it’s a no brainer that residents will give a definite yes to. Residents such as Vanessa states that while living in Somerville, she notices alot of improvement, such as installing bike lanes. Simple efforts like these shows that these policies can make people happier.

Somerville Officials hope to create a well-being index, and to compare with other towns over time, to track peoples rate of happiness. They also want to expand thoughts on what can be added on to improve the rate of happiness from baseline datas. With just a little effort, why not let people express their opinions and current rate of happiness to track what can be expanded in the future?

Revision 9/11/13

In the article “How Happy Are you a Cencus Wants to Know” by John Tierny, residents have been asked to rate their happiness. Over 7500 people mailed back their response with ratings, and some with their own personal goals they want to achieve. By using cencus forms to determine the overall happiness of the town, it’s easier to expand ideas to improve the city. For example, building parks, bike paths, or when mass transit services are improved, can have a impact on people’s happiness. Policies can have a change on people’s happiness, and with these cencus forms, it makes the residents flattered to have such a caring community.

Reflection

When I first wrote the summary, it had some unnecessary details that didn’t have to be there. I learned that a summary is based off the article, and it should include the main ideas of the article rather than small details that doesn’t impact the article as much. By editing my summary, it is now straight forward, without unnecessary add ons.

 

 

 

Summary ‘How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know’

In Somerville people filled out city census, this time people got new question on the topic of ‘How happy do you feel right now?’ They want to know what would make the people happy. More than 7,500 people mail back the survey; most of them didn’t really answer the question. Dr. Gilbert said they need more people to speak out and tell them what they need to improve. Dr. Gilbert said Somerville needs more park or highways. Workers should get longer coffee break or more vacation days. Vanessa Lagerman who lived in Somerville for six year said they are changing the city to become a better place now they have bike lanes. This is making people happier. Conor Brennan said he happy about the city attention they care about people happiness. They want Somerville to become a better place for people to live. Dr. Gilberts said adding new question to the survey was a good idea now they could find out what would make the people happy. Most people in Somerville is satisfied in the environment. “Other residents also said they felt flattered by the city’s attention.” This mean other city are motivate of how the city Somerville support people idea. Somerville is a city that cares about people happiness.

 

Census Wants to Know; “How Happy Are You?”

Filling out the census forms of spring 2011, the residents of Somerville, Massachusetts had a surprising new question added. “How happy do you feel right now?”, the people of Somerville were asked. The officials in Boston want to be the first to measure the happiness of their people in an attempt to try and find out better ways to help them. Many of the people who answered back these questions, did not limit their answers to only the problems around them concerning the city, but they also based their answers to their own unfulfilled desires.

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone stated, “we need to change our mind-set in how we serve people.” Curtatone wants to take into view the opinion of the people here, and how they feel with the way the city is. The surveys mailed with the census ask the residents to rate the “aspects of their communities.”  All in all, the city want to know; “‘Taking everything into account, how satisfied are you with Somerville as a place to live?'”

With the answer of the residents, the officials of Somerville will be able to see what social policies can be adjusted to make the people happier. Residents of Somerville are giving this survey a good eye since they say to feel “flattered” with the attention that they are getting from the city. The attention itself is making the people happier because of the interest to make the residents happier. This can be the jump start to figuring out how different policies and changes affect the well-being of people. These changes on the well-being can then be monitored and be used for better policies in the future.

 

Revision for 9/12:

Filling out the census forms of spring 2011, the residents of Somerville, Massachusetts had a surprising new question added. “How happy do you feel right now?”, the people of Somerville were asked. The officials in Boston want to be the first to measure the happiness of their people in an attempt to try and find out better ways to help them. With the answer of the residents, the officials of Somerville will be able to see what social policies can be adjusted to make the people happier. This can be the jump start to figuring out how different policies and changes affect the well-being of people. These changes on the well-being can then be monitored and be used for better policies in the future.

Reflection of changes:

I decided to make my reflection a lot shorter. I cut out a lot of information from my original summary, however, just the information that I found to be irrelevant for others to know in a summary. I also removed the quotations that I had initially added because I noticed that I was concentrating too much on useless information.

“Are you happy?” Summarizing

A recent census in Somerville, Mass. asked a different question this past spring, on a scale of 1-10, “how happy do you feel right now?” Officials in this town would like to promote policies beyond material well being. Psychologists and economists are monitoring  as well as advocating the citizens happiness, but not without debate over whether happiness is the right thing for politicians to be promoting. More than 7,500 people have mailed back the survey, not limiting their answers to the surveys true concerns. Somerville plays somewhat as a perfect test tube for this experiment, being that it is sandwiched between two universities as well as being a blue collar bastion with a growing population. To question further, Somerville had a Harvard psychology Professor by the name of Daniel Gilbert conduct a more in depth telephone survey conducted of a random 76,000 Somerville residents.

Somerville officials say they hope to see peoples happiness vary when bike paths and parks are established as well as how their feelings change when mass transit services are improved. The overall question the survey prompted to its citizens was when taking everything into account, how satisfied are they with Somerville as a place to live? Most responses came to positive conclusions and residents stating they were flattered by the cities attention. City officials would like to see if a new rail system can serve as a natural experiment to let them track as to whether happiness increases among residents who live near by.

Revision [9/10]

Reflection paragraph

I thought the article was a bit interesting considering town officials are actually concerned with the residents overall happiness and emotions oppose to only material well being. It sparked my curiosity as to if they would ever do something along those lines here in NYC or in my home town of Riverhead. Being that Somerville once had the nickname “Slummerville” in the past, I would not be surprised if the town officials there were able to gentrify the town further. I also wonder what Dr. Gilberts data came to, as to whether the installation of new bike paths, parks, and rail ways really increased the residents feelings of happiness or not.