Happiness - Dissertation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Paul Dolan QUE.3.08


This course is available on the MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

See entry for PB421


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

See entry for PB421

Indicative reading

Dolan P. Happiness by design: Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life, Penguin 2016.

Wilson, T. Gilbert, D. (2003) Affective forecasting. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 35, p345-411.

Dolan P and Kahneman D, Interpretations of utility and their implications for the valuation of health, Economic Journal., 118 (525), 215–234, 2008.

Dolan, P., & Metcalfe, R. (2012) Measuring subjective wellbeing: Recommends on measures for use by national governments. Journal of Social Policy, 41 (2), 409-427.

Dolan, P., Peasgood, T., & White, M. (2008). Do we really know what makes us happy? A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Psychology, 29(1), 94-122.

Dolan, P., & Kudrna, L. (2016). Sentimental Hedonism: Pleasure, Purpose, and Public Policy. In Handbook of Eudaimonic Well-Being (pp. 437-452). Springer, Cham.

Kahneman, D., & Thaler, R. (2006). Utility maximization and experienced utility. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(1), 221-234.

Fujiwara, D., & Campbell, R. (2011). Valuation techniques for social cost-benefit analysis: stated preference, revealed preference and subjective well-being approaches: a discussion of the current issues. HM Treasury.

Williams, B. (2008). Cost-benefit analysis. Economic & Labour Market Review, 2(12), 67.

Dolan, P., Laffan, K., & Velias, A. (2018). Who’s miserable now? Identifying clusters of people with the lowest subjective wellbeing in the UK. Office for National Statistics.

Layard, R. (2005). Rethinking public economics: The implications of rivalry and habit. Economics and happiness, 1(1), 147-170.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in the ST.

You are required to write a 10,000 word dissertation (replacing the exam). You are expected to attend the course teaching on the half-unit that you chose to write your dissertation on.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

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