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Singaporeans The Least Positive Worldwide, Gallup

Singaporeans are the least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions, reports a Gallup poll.

| December 20, 2012 | Top News

AsianScientist (Dec. 20, 2012) – Singaporeans are the least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions, reports a new Gallup poll.

Results were based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2011 in 148 countries and areas.

On average, 85 percent of respondents worldwide felt treated with respect all day, 72 percent said they smiled and laughed a lot, 73 percent felt enjoyment a lot of the day, 72 percent felt well-rested, and 43 percent reported getting to learn or do something interesting the previous day.

But residents of Singapore, which ranks fifth in the world in terms of GDP per capita, are the least likely to report positive emotions, according to the Gallup findings. Conversely, residents of Panama, which ranks 90th in the world with respect to GDP per capita, are among the most likely to report positive emotions.

Only 46 percent of Singapore residents are likely to report positive emotions (Source: Gallup).

The poll results were released just a month after Singapore was ranked by Gallup as the least emotional country in the world.

Gallup asked residents whether they experienced five positive and five negative emotions a lot the previous day. Negative experiences include anger, stress, sadness, physical pain, and worry. Positive emotions include feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot, and learning or doing something interesting.

In the November results, only 36 percent of Singaporean respondents reported feeling either positive or negative emotions daily; Filipinos, on the other hand, are the most emotional, with six in 10 saying they experience a lot of these feelings daily.

Singaporeans are also the most emotionless (Source: Gallup).

Higher income does not necessarily mean higher well-being, say Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton. The pair found that in the United States income only makes a significant impact on daily positive emotions when earning up to US$75,000 annually – after that, additional income does not make as much of a difference.

And these findings may also be true for Singapore, a country with one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest GDP per capita rates in the world, but a place where residents barely experience any positive emotions and also are the least likely to report feeling positive emotions.

This research shows that it will take more than higher incomes to increase positive emotions or decrease negative emotions, says Gallup. Countries may need to take a holistic approach to progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing, it says.

Singapore’s leadership may also like to take a leaf out of Bhutan’s book; the remote Himalayan kingdom has made the attainment of Gross National Happiness and its four pillars – good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation – a national goal since the 1970s.

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Source: Gallup; Photo: merrick.daligdig.photography/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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