Quality-of-life in technological society

R Veenhoven

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

Abstract

Effects of technology on the quality of human life can be assessed by comparing quality of life in more and in less modern societies. The quality of life in a society can be measured by how long and happy its inhabitants live. Using these indicators I start with a cross-sectional analysis of 140 nations around 2005 and find that people live longer and happier in today's most modern societies. Secondly I examine trends in 10 modern nations over the last 35 years and find that happiness and longevity have increased in most cases. Thirdly I consider the long-term and review findings from historical anthropology, which show that we lived better in the early hunter-gatherer society than in the later agrarian society and that quality of life increased markedly in industrial society. Together these data suggest that technological development has worked out differently for the quality of human life, first negatively, in the change from a hunter-gatherer existence to agriculture, and next positively, in the more recent transformation from an agrarian to an industrial society. We live now longer and happier than ever before.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationThe Good Life in a Technological Age
EditorsP. Brey, A. Briggle, E. Spence
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Pages55-76
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780415891264
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

SeriesStudies in Science Technology and Society

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