“Researching.” Photo by Steve Hanna

Our latest feature article, “Part of Your World,” explored the relationship between the arts and the meta-concept of wellbeing. While much of the work for this investigation occurred earlier this year, below are some new sources that we reviewed in preparation for the article.

Arts & Wellbeing Research Update

Agenda 21 for Culture. (n.d.). Culture as a goal in post-2015. Retrieved from http://www.agenda21culture.net/index.php/documents/culture-as-a-goal-in-post-2015

Agenda 21 for Culture. (2015). Recognizing the Role of Culture to Strengthen the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda. Retrieved from http://www.culture2015goal.net/images/yootheme/culture2015/def/Indicators_ENG.pdf

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics. September 2014. “Wellbeing in Four Policy Areas.” http://b.3cdn.net/nefoundation/ccdf9782b6d8700f7c_lcm6i2ed7.pdf.

Alonso, G., & Medici, M. (2014). UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators: Methodology Manual. UNESCO. Retrieved from http://en.unesco.org/creativity/sites/creativity/files/digital-library/CDIS%20Methodology%20Manual_0.pdf

Bauer, R. (Ed.). (1966). Social Indicators. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Cobb, C & Rixford C. (1998). Lessons learned from the history of social indicators. San Francisco, CA: Redefining Progress.

Dodge, R., Daly, A. P., Huyton, J., & Sanders, L. D. (2012). The challenge of defining wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing2(3), 222–235.

Easterlin, R. (1974). Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence. In David, P. A. & Reder, M. W. (Eds.), Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honor of Moses Abramovitz. New York. Retrieved from http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/16/business/Easterlin1974.pdf

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.well-beingindex.com/

GDP: A Flawed Measure of Progress | New Economy Working Group. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.neweconomyworkinggroup.org/visions/living-wealth-indicators/gdp-flawed-measure-progress

Langlois, A., & Anderson, D. E. (2002). Resolving the Quality of Life/Well-being Puzzle: Toward a New Model. Canadian Journal of Regional Science25(3), 501–512.

Noll, H. (2004). Social Indicators and Quality of Life Research: Background, Achievements and Current Trends. In N. Genov (Ed.), Advances in Sociological Knowledge (pp. 151–181). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

The Hangzhou Declaration: Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies. (2013). Presented at the Hangzhou International Conference China. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CLT/images/FinalHangzhouDeclaration20130517.pdf

The Story of GNH | GNH Centre Bhutan. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.gnhcentrebhutan.org/what-is-gnh/the-story-of-gnh/

Follow-Up Research on “Why Don’t They Come?” Update

Our research on the arts and wellbeing has led us in some interesting directions. After an initial scan and review of the literature on television, wellbeing, and the arts, we are drawing some initial conclusions about how television impacts health and subjective wellbeing. Our findings thus far include strong evidence that television is associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes, and not just because of sedentary behavior. Some researchers have suggested that the content of television that people watch and the behavior or mindsets it inspires might contribute to poor health.

The association between television and subjective wellbeing is a bit murkier. Researchers have pointed out that findings related to subjective wellbeing may seem counterintuitive because they don’t quite correlate with what you might expect to be significant drivers of wellbeing like income or health, which means that even though television might create poor health, it does not necessarily create poor subjective wellbeing. We can say with confidence that people tend to rate television relatively low compared to other activities, and that because it occupies such a significant portion of free time, television does tend to “crowd out” other, more satisfying activities. The overall effect on subjective wellbeing, however, remains somewhat unclear.

In the coming month, we plan to look more closely at our research questions related to the drivers of watching television vs. attending arts events among economically disadvantaged people. We will look at the degree to which this group is making a conscious choice to substitute television for attending arts events and will seek to better understand the lower interest in arts event attendance through market research analyses and interviews.

The articles and reports that we’ve read this month include:

Bruni, L., & Stanca, L. (2008). Watching Alone: Relational goods, television, and happiness. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 65(3-4), 506–528. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268106002095

Cardwell, S. (2014). Television Amongst Friends: Medium, Art, Media. Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies, 9(3), 6–21. Retrieved from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/manup/cstv/2014/00000009/00000003/art00002

Dempsey, P., Howard, B., Lynch, B., Owen, N., & Dunstan, D. W. (2014). Associations of television viewing time with adults’ well-being and vitality. Preventative Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25230366

Guetzkow, J. (2002). How the Arts Impact Communities: An Introduction to the Literature on Arts Impact Studies (No. 20). Taking the Measure of Culture Conference: Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. Retrieved from https://www.princeton.edu/~artspol/workpap/WP20%20-%20Guetzkow.pdf

Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2006). Would You Be Happier if You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion. Science, 312(5782), 1908–1910. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/312/5782/1908.short

Kataria, M., & Regner, T. (2011). A Note on the Relationship Between Television Viewing and Individual Happiness. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 40(1), 53–58. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053535710000892

Muennig, P., Rosen, Z., & Johnson, G. (2013). Do the Psychological Risks Associated with Television Viewing Increase Mortality? Evidence from the 2008 General Social Survey – National Death Index dataset. Annals of Epidemiology, 23(6), 355–360. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662979/

Robinson, J. P., & Martin, S. (2008). What do Happy People Do? Social Indicators Research, 89(3), 565–571. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11205-008-9296-6

Schneider, L. (2013). A Note on Income Aspirations, Television, and Happiness. Kyklos, 66(2), 301–305. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/kykl.12022/abstract

Uslaner, E. M. (1998). Social Capital, Television, and the “Mean World”: Trust, Optimism, and Civic Participation. Political Psychology, 19(3), 441–467. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3792173

Wheeler, K. S. (2015). The relationships Between Television Viewing, Behaviors, Attachment, Loneliness, Depression, and Psychological Well-Being (Undergraduate Honors Thesis). Georgia Southern University, Georgia. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/honors-theses/98/

World Health Organization. (2012). Social Determinants of Health and Well-Being Among Young People. Retrieved from http://www.hbsc.unito.it/it/images/pdf/hbsc/prelims-part1.pdf

Meanwhile, because of our recent focus on our investigation of wellbeing and the arts, we have been mostly in the research planning phase of our investigation into the history of change in the arts ecosystem.

History of Change in the Arts Ecosystem Research Update

Having identified three areas of the arts ecosystem that have experienced major changes over the past 50 years, we’ve assigned one member of our research team to conduct the initial bibliographic research in each area. Katie will be exploring the expansion of the nonprofit arts infrastructure, Fari will investigate the broadening of the definition of “art” in the nonprofit arts establishment, and John will be looking for literature on the impact that new technologies have had on both nonprofit and for-profit forms of expression.

To get an initial sense of the literature, we’re going to search Google Scholar and JSTOR, and add literature to our Zotero library based purely on titles and abstracts. In doing so, we’re going to keep track of the search terms we’ve used, monitor the time we’ve spent on each database, and make note of general observations.

After that we’ll discuss what additional research may be necessary. This might include searching additional databases (EBSCO Host, ProQuest Dissertations and Abstracts, ProQuest News and Newspapers, discipline specific databases), searches for books (Academic Library catalogs, WorldCat, Google Books), or specific academic journals that we should review. Alternatively, we might start pulling some of the literature and checking out the works they reference in their bibliographies.