Conservatives are Happier than Liberals

Why Conservatives are Happier

Happiness is a very interesting topic. Everyone would like to think that they are happy and often, people would like others to perceive them as happy. It is a very subjective emotion that is challenging to quantify other than through self represented answers. It would be very easy into making it look on paper as though you were more or less happy than you were. 

Despite these challenges, researchers have amassed enough data to make a striking claim about happiness. Conservatives are happier than liberals. Several new studies point to this as well as older studies by Pew Research and the Journal of Psychological Science that spanned long periods of time. During the period of 1980 - 2013, conservatives always reported themselves as being happier than liberals. 

Happiness over Time
As you can see from this graph, conservatives (Republicans) always reported higher levels of happiness than liberals (Democrats). But why is this? Let's look into a variety of factors that could be responsible for the happiness gap.

Marriage: More than half of conservative adults are married while less than half of liberal adults can be counted as wed. Marriage, independently of political beliefs, has a strong positive effect on happiness. Those who are married are more likely to have strong social support systems and people to rely on in times of need. Married couples are also more likely to have children, which in the long run also tends to increase happiness.

Religion: While liberals will not like to acknowledge this, religion actually makes people happier. Often times those who are religious have a sense of hope and ease about them. Religion can also help bring communities together and like marriage create social support systems for times of need. 

Less Cynical (Less Aware): This one will really depend on your own ideology. In a broad sense conservatives are most likely to see systems functioning properly. This means that they have faith in statements such as "you can get as far as you want as long as you try" or "everyone has a fair shot." This sense of optimism or ignorance, whichever you prefer, can greatly increase ones feelings of personal satisfaction. Feeling that the world is a just place would make anybody happier!

I have to say that this new surprised me! I consider myself to be relatively liberal and so I suppose I would have liked if things turned out the other way. But regardless I think that it is interesting to observe the relationship between things that otherwise may be left unseen.