Measurement really matters: academic perspecitve

Felicia Huppert, Director of the Wellbeing Institute at the University of Cambridge and Emeritus Professor of Psychology, takes us through her perspective, grounded in academia and practice, to underscore the importance of good wellbeing measures.

If something is worth measuring, it’s worth measuring well. Easy enough to agree; harder to put into practice when we look at subjective wellbeing. Yet, even as governments around the world shift wellbeing up their policy priorities, we’re still having really fundamental discussions about what meaningful measures of wellbeing actually look like.Currently, many different measures are used to capture wellbeing, and some of them are conceptually inadequate or of low quality. The impact of mis-measurement on decision-making, policy, and people’s lives could totally undermine the concept of wellbeing as a foundational approach to policy-making.

What do I mean by mis-measurement? Look, for example, at the ubiquitous ONS life satisfaction question: ‘All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?’…

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