Nadya Lobak Posted over 2 years ago Michael Norton: How to buy happiness Hi Barry, From my understanding, your answer talks about peoples characters, rather then their feeling at the moment, which is by the way an important issue by itself. There can be a happy person by it's nature - that will easily answer Yes if he is happy, and No if he isn't, because it's clear to him. And there can be an unhappy person by it's nature, that will have problem with this question by default, and maybe especially on him - the effect of asking him first "Have you donated?" and then "are you happy?" will affect his answer. Maybe you have heared about the "Happiness project" by Gretchen Rubin? She talks there about the problem of thinking about your happiness - the need itself to decide whether you happy or not, effects that feeling immidiately, simply because you suddenly too aware of your situation, feelings, thoughts etc, and the thinking of "am I happy?" may by itself change your feeling :) If you haven't read the book - highly recommended! Regarding your challenge - there is a huge difference between asking a person face to face if he is happy (especially if he is not a stranger) and between sending him an SMS from a survey... and of course, if people signed for survey - they will answer one of the answers given (Yes or No) simply because they have no other choice :) but if they did have a choice - it could have been any other answer (don't know, Im ok etc). Happy and Unhappy are not the only 2 possible feelings! we can feel neither of them, but something in between... That's why I suppose sending at least an option to choose happinees level (say 1-10) would make more sense... Cheers!