The Global Happiness Research (GHR) project, which began in 2023 from Florida, USA, is a global research that collects, analyzes, and reports data from six continents, namely, Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, North and South Americas. This project is initiated and funded by Dr. Bidya Raj Subedi who is also undertaking a lead role as a Director of the GHR. This study aims to explore the significant predictors of happiness globally using a predictive statistical model.

The research exploration will identify significant predictors (included in the model) and rank them in the order of importance. The expected implications of this study are that people can control such significant predictors in their favor in order to create and increase happiness in life. This research will provide a substantial contribution to the field of positive psychology and spiritual science (to create a happier humanity and a better world) as the ultimate goal of humanity is to acquire and increase happiness.

The GHR emblem, as given below, represents the six continents inside the circle with the symbols of happy people in six different colors representing six different geographical locations (continents). On the bottom of the emblem, the number "2023" represents the year (i.e., 2023 A.D.) when the GHR is established. What does the GHR emblem symbolize?

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As suggested by Lyubomirsky and Lepper (1999), the outcome measure, namely, subjective well-being or happiness, is created and calculated (based on the survey results) as the average score of the following 4 observed variables.

In this study, we have total 18 predictors in which 17 of them are measured using a five-point Likert scale. One predictor is explored using short open-ended response. The predictors are derived based on literature reviews with research-based evidence in past that they have substantial impacts on subjective well-being or happiness. For example, intentional activities, which include committing acts of kindness, expressing appreciation or optimism, and savoring joyful life events, represent the most promising route to sustaining enhanced happiness (Boehm, and Lyubomirsky, 2009). Further, Fave, Brdar, Freire, Vella-Brodrick and Wissing (2011) defined the happiness primarily as a condition of psychological balance, harmony, and among the different life domains, family and social relations were prominently associated with happiness.

Similarly, Robert Waldinger presented through TED talk about a longitudinal Harvard study which showed that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, and those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes (Mineo, 2017). Researchers define wisdom as moving beyond self-centered consciousness and connecting empathetically with the experience of others whereas in formulating and assessing mental well-being in eastern cultures, enough attention should be devoted to such positive qualities as self-transcendence, empathy, and wisdom (Joshanloo, 2014). According to Kwee (2012), loving-kindness itself is rendered as full of empathic compassion, sympathetic joy, and relational equanimity. Below are the examples of some predictors such as kindness, relationship, and empathetic connections used for exploration based on past research findings.

Since this is a global research, the GHR surveys include the global population with selected countries (based on convenient or non-probability sampling due to several limitations including accessibility, cost effectiveness, safety etc.) from six continents: Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America (including Central America). The total sample size for this study is expected to be about 5,000.

The data will be collected by face-to-face and online surveys with completely volunteer participations of the respondents. The survey will be anonymous and confidential. The respondents will not be identified in any GHR reports/publications, and the survey data (responses) will be used only for summary results of this research. We will employ a predictive (statistical) model to analyze the data and explore the significant predictors of happiness. Finally, we will identify/rank the significant predictors of happiness in the order of importance.

The RCs, with minimum academic qualification of a high school degree, are selected based on their keen interest, understanding, persistency, and sincerity in conducting surveys. For authentic credibility, the applicants for RC position should submit their CV/Resume (via email) with their academic qualifications, professional experiences, and interests. The RC will be paid on daily basis or per survey basis. They will be paid based on the cost of living of their resident city, state, and country. As the benefits, the RCs will receive a certificate of job completion/appreciation (working on surveys as well as data entry) and reference letters, if necessary.

The responsibilities of a RC are to translate the 22-item English version of survey into their native language and conduct the surveys in their countries. The RCs cannot claim the copyright for GHR data, reports, and any other published works related to this project. Also, the RCs cannot claim any award and prize offered for this work.

By the third week of December 2023, the surveys in Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia have been completed whereas the surveys in Malaysia has been partially completed, and surveys in Thailand will be completed in January. The surveys in North and South Americas, Africa, Europe, and remaining countries in Asia are under pipeline.

Total term of this project would be about 5 years. The tentative timeline for conducting surveys, data collection, data management, data analysis will be about 3 years. The preparation of the final report/s, publishing etc. would take up to 2 years.

Dr. Bidya Raj Subedi, who is also the director of GHR, is leading the project. Dr. Subedi holds a master degree in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University, Michigan, USA and a Ph. D. degree in Educational Measurement and Statistics from Florida State University, Florida, USA. He has worked in the capacity of faculty member and research as well as evaluation professional in the past (please review his CV in given the hyperlink). He has published numerous scholar articles in reputed scholarly journals and he has also presented papers in many regional as well as international conferences. Dr. Subedi's CV can be accessed from here.

Dr. Subedi is a self-motivated academic, research, evaluation and measurement professional. He has proven ability to design and accomplish large-scale research as well as evaluation projects. He has an expertise in developing statistical designs and analyzing data by employing basic as well as sophisticated predictive statistical models. He is creative and knowledgeable on innovative and latest research methods. He has published research works in scholarly peer-reviewed journals and also presented in regional/international conferences. His research interests are predicting educational and social outcomes such as student achievement/growth, teacher/school effectiveness, high school graduation/dropout, and behavioral outcomes. He has also expertise in several statistical and measurement software and programs.

Following are the references used in the FAQs.

Fave, A. D., Brdar, I., Freire, T., Vella-Brodrick, D., & Wissing, M. P. (2011). The eudaimonic and hedonic components of happiness: Qualitative and quantitative findings. Social Indicators Research, 100, 185–207.

Joshanloo, M. (2014). Eastern conceptualizations of happiness: Fundamental differences with western views. Journal of Happiness Studies: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Subjective Well-Being, 15(2), 475–493.

Kwee, M. G. (2012). Relational Buddhism: A psychological quest for meaning and sustainable happiness. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: The human quest for meaning: theories, research, and applications (pp. 249–273). New York: Routledge.

Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46, 137-155. Mineo, L. (2017). Good genes are nice, but joy is better. The Harvard Gazette. Massachusetts, USA.