Daydream believers – new iPhone app measures happiness

12 Nov 2010

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.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years