Old books reveal how happy we once were

Analysis of old texts can shed light on wellbeing back in history...
25 October 2019
Presented by Mariana Marasoiu
Production by Mariana Marasoiu.


Old books packed on bookshelves


Considering people’s wellbeing in making policy decisions is becoming more and more important, but it’s only in recent years that governments have started to record the subjective satisfaction of the population. A team of researchers is looking to fill in the historical gap for national mood by analysing the text of old books published in the US, UK, Germany and Italy and computing a National Valence Index for each of these countries. Mariana Marasoiu spoke with lead author Thomas Hills about how it works…


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