Arthur StoneDirector, Center for Self-Report Science; Professor of Psychology, Economics, and Public Policy
The science of self-reporting and measurement. Also, behavioral medicine (how social and behavioral factors impact somatic health and how the same factors can improve health) and subjective well-being.
I believe accurate measurement is at the core of good science. If you say you are measuring construct X, then it is a major problem for theory development at an abstract level, and for treatment delivery at a practical level, if you are mistaken and are really measuring construct Y. Much of my research is concerned with getting measurement accurate and bias free. Another aspect is getting the resolution of measurement (how frequent within a day, for example) to be commensurate with the question at hand.
Mentors during my undergraduate years showed me the beauty of rigorous, scientific psychology.
Using extensive survey data from the U.S. and around the world, an economist colleague and I showed how living with children versus not living with children in your home relates to the parents’ subjective wellbeing. We took a broad view of well-being and examined how people evaluate their lives (life satisfaction) and how they feel on a daily basis (hedonic well-being). In short, there was little difference in life satisfaction between the groups, but those with children at home felt more daily joys and more daily stresses and negative emotions.
Specially programmed palmtop computers for real-time monitoring of symptoms and experiences. And the Internet.
That we aren’t very good at knowing what will make us happy in the future.
Sumo wrestling. No, no, no, I mean creative cooking.