Chapter 2 World Database of Happiness: a ‘findings archive’
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Social scientists are producing an ever-growing stream of research findings, which is becoming ever more difficult to oversee. This situation calls for more research synthesis. To date, attention has been focused on statistical methods for meta-analysis, with little attention has been paid to the preliminary step of bringing available research findings together. What we need are: (1) techniques for describing research findings in a comparable way; (2) a system for storing such descriptions in an easily accessible archive; and (3) a means to add research findings to this system on a continuous basis. The World Database of Happiness is an example of such a tool. In this chapter, the author describes how it works and illustrates its use with an overview of research findings on two topics: (1) the relation between happiness and air pollution; and (2) the relation between happiness and economic growth. As yet, there is no established name for this technique, which the author calls a ‘findings archive’.

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