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iPhone app that measures happiness proves wandering mind is unhappy mind

Now you can measure people’s moods using an iPhone app. Researchers at Harvard have found that most of us use daydreaming as a way to solve life’s problems and there is a correlation between daydreaming and unhappiness.

The iPhone app discovered that those who daydream were most likely to be unhappy. The app was called ‘Track Your Happiness’ and used to measure people’s happiness by asking them how they were feeling at random point during the day by calling iPhone users. And out of 2,250 adults nearly 47% admitted to daydreaming whenever their iPhone rang to ask about their feelings.

This iPhone app collected people’s mental frame at various points of time in a day to check their mood. The study was conducted using iPhone web app to collect 250,000 data points on volunteer’s thoughts feelings and actions during their life. It was found that those with a wandering mind felt gloomy. This led the scientists to believe that ‘the ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.’

In order to track this behavior of people Mathew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University undertook the research. Killingsworth developed an iPhone app contacting 2,250 volunteers who were asked how happy they were, what they were presently doing or whether they were thinking about their current activity or about something else that was pleasant, neutral or unpleasant.

The research which was published in the journal Science also revealed that people were most happy when they were having sex, exercising or engaging in a conversation. They were most unhappy while resting, working or using a home computer.

The findings of the iPhone web app proves the age old belief by many religious and psychological traditions that teach us that in order to be happy live in the moment because wandering mind is the root of all sorrow and gloominess. The research also stated that mind-wandering was generally the cause and not the consequence of people’s happiness.


How did they establish causation? The opposite can be argued; that the mind wanders BECAUSE we are unhappy.
Posted by theo