Daydream believers – new iPhone app measures happiness

12 Nov 2010

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Researchers at Harvard have found a way of using the iPhone to measure people’s moods and have found a correlation between daydreaming and unhappiness.

Named ‘Track Your Happiness’, the app contacts iPhone users at random points during the day and asks them how they’re feeling – even while some of them were having sex!

Based on samples published in the journal Science, out of 2,250 adults, 47pc were daydreaming whenever the iPhone rang to check their thoughts.

Those who said they were daydreaming were most likely to be unhappy at the time.

According to the report in Science, statistical tests showed that mind-wandering earlier in the day correlated with a poorer mood later in the day, but not vice versa, suggesting that unhappiness with their current activity wasn’t prompting people to mentally escape.

Instead, their wandering minds were the cause of their gloom. Mental drifting was a downer for subjects during even the dullest activities, like cleaning, the researchers found.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com