NEWS18 August 2010

LSE researchers launch happiness tracking app

Trends UK

UK— A pair of researchers at the London School of Economics have launched an iPhone app to discover how people’s feelings are affected by their surroundings.

George MacKerron and Susan Mourato launched the new Mappiness app, which asks users up to five times a day how they are feeling, who they are with, what they are doing, if they are outdoors, indoors or in a vehicle and if they are happy.

Users can choose what times of day to be asked questions and how often, and there is an option for them to send in photos of their surroundings. GPS technology pinpoints the location of each respondent every time they answer questions.

Users can opt out of the study at any time by deleting the app from their phone.

MacKerron told Research that the project will run indefinitely, with results to be published at various times in academic journals. So far this week,1,600 people have signed up take part in the project, he said.

“What’s exciting here is the addition of the spatial dimension. By tracking across space as well as time, and by making novel use of a technology that millions of people already carry with them, we hope to find better answers to questions about the impacts of natural beauty, environmental problems – maybe even aspects of climate – on individual and national wellbeing,” said MacKerron.