H(app)athon Releases Survey to Understand, Track and Increase Overall Happiness

Survey helps people track their values and act on them to effectively increase their happiness

March 20, 2014 — New York, NY — The H(app)athon project (www.happathon.com), a global initiative focused on connecting happiness to action, announced today the release of a survey-based tool designed to measure and increase the happiness of individuals by identifying their values, tracking their behavior, and connecting them with resources to live out their values. The timing of the survey coincides with the United Nations’ Second International Day of Happiness.

Research suggests that well-being increases when people are altruistic and live aligned with their values. The H(app)athon Project’s new survey is designed to help people identify their values, track their behavior, and recognize areas of their lives that are out of balance. These values often align with volunteer program needs, and the survey will connect users and programs to help them live out their values and make a positive impact on the community, in turn increasing their happiness.

“Research shows that when we don’t live according to our values, our happiness is blocked,” notes John C. Havens, Founder and Executive Director of The H(app)athon Project. “While we hold certain values dear, we may not necessarily spend time living to them every day. Our hope is people taking our survey will gain insights into what actions they can take to better focus on the values that give them a sense of purpose so they can increase their overall well-being.”

“It’s all about connecting science to action,” added Dr. Margaret Kern, research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, lead study investigator and H(app)athon Board Member. “People around the world want to increase their happiness. We are bringing together the science of wellbeing in a real-world application to create positive change for both individuals and communities.”

Along with the survey, The H(app)athon Project has developed their, “Happy City Workshop” to help city officials and citizens identify shared values to create actionable campaigns that measure and increase happiness in individuals. Currently, the new survey and workshop platform is being tested in Reading, Pennsylvania where The H(app)athon Project recently held a series of successful events attended by The Mayor and other City Officials (see videos of the Workshops here).

“We were thrilled at the response we received for the workshops that The H(app)athon Project helped us produce,” notes Pastor Nancy Clark, Founder of The Happiness Project of Reading. “By providing a platform to feature local resources and engage citizens to brainstorm campaigns to make genuine change in Reading, H(app)athon is helping us achieve our goal of changing perceptions around our city from negative to positive.”

H(app)athon’s new survey will provide a general assessment of subjective well-being by identifying an individual’s core values and encouraging happiness through social good. To identify these core values, H(app)athon users will take a baseline survey that identifies personal values, and answer two short surveys each day for two weeks. The survey will collect data on users’ values and the importance they place on them, and compute a Personal Happiness Indicator (PHI) score for each user.

From this score, H(app)athon connects users with the local organizations that best align with their values. By volunteering with these organizations, H(app)athon hopes to provide users with guidance on what will create a greater sense of well being, while also boosting others’ happiness levels.

Eventually, this data will be used to identify trends and actionable insights for a city.

The survey release coincides with the release of Havens’ book, Hacking H(app)iness – Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World, which will be published by Tarcher/Penguin on March 20. The new book is based on Havens’ Mashable article, The Value of a Happiness Economy, and details his findings from his research and work on the H(app)athon project.

For more information, please contact happathon@pulppr.com.


About The H(app)athon Project

The H(app)athon Project helps people identify and track their values as a way to measure what makes life count. Based on data collected from mobile surveys and passive data, users are provided with a volunteer recommendation based on their results. The science of positive psychology shows that living to your values and being altruistic increases intrinsic wellbeing, which is why the H(app)athon Project is ‘connecting happiness to action’ via their surveys and “Happy City Workshops” that inspire citizens to create positive campaigns for their communities focused on increasing worth versus wealth. For more information, visit www.happathon.com.

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