Feedback on the Happiness Formula (Part Two)

6. Did the exercise make you appreciate what you have in life and not focus on what you don’t?

  • A. Yes, to some extent. It helped me to appreciate what I have, and it helped me to not focus on little things that don’t matter. However, it did focus my attention on things I don’t have that do matter. That doesn’t necessarily make me feel good in the short term (i.e. doesn’t make me happy now), but it is useful and gives me some goals. I like having targeted goals (e.g. I need to spend more time on my hobbies) rather than a general sense of wanting things to be different, but not being sure what I need to do.
  • B. It did make me appreciate what I have in life, but instead of making me not focus on problem areas it actually motivated me to work harder to improve them.
  • C. No
  • D. Yes, it helped a bit
  • E. No
  • F. Yes it did – I am going do this exercise consistently going forward – may be once a week – I think this provides so much clarity and focus on positives in my life and improvement areas for me personally

7. How long did it take you on average to answer the questions in sections Satisfaction and Importance?

  • A. I’m not sure; probably around 10 minutes total the first time, with about 70% of that on the Satisfaction, and the rest on the Importance. Not more than 5 minutes total the next time, once I was familiar with the descriptions.
  • B. About 5-10 minutes
  • C. It took longer (a few minutes) to answer the questions in the “Satisfaction” section because I had to be honest with myself. The “Importance” section was quicker to answer.
  • D. A few seconds
  • E. 5 minutes or so
  • F. 5 minutes each

8. Did you want to see more graphs (ex. for importance)?

  • A. No, I didn’t find the graphs useful, although they would be more valuable for tracking changes in time once I had more data. They are potentially overcrowded though (too much data on one plot). One thing that might be useful is to have percentages for each category on the formula page, rather than numbers 4.5 etc.
  • B. It would be good to see a graph of the importance weighted to each category over time. Also, it would be good to see a graph showing the average rating and importance over time for all the categories.
  • C. Not necessarily. But a graph plotting importance against satisfaction for a particular day or time period might be useful.
  • D. No, no need
  • E. No, but I might’ve liked to see the graphs separately since they overlapped too much for me.
  • F. Yes but it would be ideal to have capability that will allow me to chose what category I want to graph – the multiple categories on each graph are confusing and I wasn’t sure if they were grouped together for some specific reason – ability to mix and match categories on a graph (customize) will be useful as well

9. Do you think that rating scale for satisfaction (1-10) is adequate?

  • A. Yes
  • B. Yes, most people are familiar with rating things on a scale of 1-10 so this was intuitive
  • C. Yes
  • D. Yes
  • E. Yes
  • F. Yes

10. Do you think that rating scale for importance (0-5) is adequate?

  • A. No. As noted above, I didn’t use the low end of the scale at all, and would have liked more options at the higher end of the scale.
  • B. I actually think it could be good to have a wider scale, like 1-10 or even 1-20. With a scale of 0-5, you have less ability to express large differences in how important you think different components of happiness are.
  • C. Yes
  • D. Yes
  • E. Yes, having only 5 rankings made it easy to choose.
  • F. Yes

Feedback on the Happiness Formula (Part One)

Last month I asked for feedback on the first version of the happiness formula. About twenty people received the file for testing, and ten people provided their feedback. Below you can find the most comprehensive feedback from six people (three females, three males). Each letter corresponds to a certain person in the order his/her feedback was documented, so you can see how each person responded to every question. Here are first 5 question out of 15 (see future posts for the rest):

1. Did you feel that categories are all inclusive? (all sources of happiness)

  • A. Yes – great job!
  • B. I believe so – there is some overlap between categories
  • C. Yes
  • D. Yes
  • E. This seemed comprehensive to me
  • F. One thing I didn’t see is things I do for fun other than hobbies – watching sports, being on FB, occasional recreational activities such as parties etc. They all bring me joy and happiness – maybe you should add a category called ‘recreation’

2. Did you find categories easy to understand?

  • A. Yes
  • B. Yes
  • C. Yes
  • D. Yes, but I would tweak the language on some categories
  • E. Yes
  • F. Yes

3. Do you think that category descriptions match category titles?

  • A. Yes
  • B. In general yes
  • C. Yes
  • D. See above
  • E. Yes
  • F. All except one – high confidence level does not necessarily mean high self-esteem – that needs a little more exploration

4. Did you think that your happiness ratio is about right?

  • A. I’m not sure; it is hard to be objective because the value itself affected how I was feeling. Because my “happiness ratio” wasn’t higher, it made me feel as though I had “failed” in being happy, and my automatic response to that was to think that it was wrong. I felt like it should have been higher because I wanted it to be higher as an affirmation of “success”. Insofar as I can be objective about it, I think it is about right, or perhaps a little low. I think it would be more accurate if there was an extra category in the Importance section, something like “6 = extremely high”. I rated the importance of all factors as 4 or 5, so the tool wasn’t able to differentiate well between the categories in terms of which I thought were the most important
  • B. Yes, the numbers that I obtained fluctuated a bit but seemed fairly accurate to how I feel these days
  • C. Yes
  • D. Yes
  • E. Yes
  • F. Yes – and I was surprised to see how consistent it remained even though the rating changed between categories each time I did them – very revealing

5. Did the exercise make you re-evaluate your understanding of happiness?

  • A. I don’t think I re-evaluated my understanding, but it did bring my focus back to where it should be, which is equally valuable. Even just reading the questions, before I got the results, made me refocus away from all the things I think are missing in my life and focus back on what I already have, what I really need, and what is really most important. I like that the first two questions asked about basics and health; that was very “grounding”
  • B. It made me consider all the varying factors that contribute to happiness, and also be curious as to how other people rate those factors in relative importance to them
  • C. No
  • D. Yes, it makes you broaden your thinking about it
  • E. No, as it was a quick exercise and I didn’t think too much as I was doing it
  • F. I don’t know if it made me re-evaluate it but it certainly put it in perspective for me – just looking at different categories, it provided a lot of clarity for me as to what is important for me and if that’s where I am focusing on for improvements

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