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UK Researcher Joins International Panel to Assess Ways of Measuring Happiness and Well-Being

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Anthony R. Bardo, assistant professor of sociology in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences, is participating in a key international 12-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development panel. The panel will focus on revising the Centre on Well-being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity’s Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-Being.  

 Social scientists in member states use these guidelines when collecting data. The guidelines help to harmonize efforts that promote international comparisons to gauge trends in national-level well-being and social progress. An online event to kick off the revision will be at midnight Monday, March 4. 

“Panel members include other experts who are not only widely recognized for their contributions to social well-being measurement but academia at large,” Bardo said. “The last version of these guidelines included advisory input from Angus Deaton, a Nobel laureate, and other high profile scholars.” 

 The guidelines offer international recommendations on collecting, publishing and analyzing subjective well-being data. They guide researchers on assessing information on people's evaluations and experiences of life as well as measuring “eudaimonic” factors – the pursuit of happiness and psychological well-being. 

“I was specifically invited to share my innovative views that push the boundaries of what we think we know about measuring subjective well-being by considering how what matters for perceived quality of life changes as we age,” Bardo said. 

Bardo studies social inequality in quality of life of people as they age with a focus on morbidity, mortality and subjective well-being. His research centers on how structural barriers prevent equitable access to resources that promote long and happy lives. An article on Bardo’s recent research can be found at the International Union for Scientific Study of Population website: