Singaporeans are the least emotional people in the world while Philipinos are the most emotional, according to research from global poll organisation Gallup.
In Singapore just 36% or people questioned said that they felt either negative or positive emotions on a daily basis, the lowest in the world.
This was followed by Georgia and Lithuania with 37% and Russia, Madagascar, the Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan all on 38%.
At the other end of the spectrum some 60% of people in the Philippines reported being emotional on a daily basis, followed by 57% in El Salvador, 56% in Bahrain, and 55% in Oman and Columbia.
Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua and the United States all came in with 54% of people feeling emotions on a daily basis.
Gallup measured daily emotions in more than 150 countries and areas by asking residents whether they experienced five positive and five negative emotions a lot the previous day. Negative experiences include anger, stress, sadness, physical pain, and worry. Positive emotions include feeling well rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot, and learning or doing something interesting.
To measure the presence or absence of emotions, Gallup averaged together the percentage of residents in each country who said they experienced each of the 10 positive and negative emotions.
Negative emotions are highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences. Latin America leads the world when it comes to positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.
The organisation carried out the research as behavioural indicators such as positive and negative emotions are a vital measure of a society’s wellbeing. Leaders worldwide are starting to incorporate such behavioural based indicators into the metrics they use to evaluate their countries because they realise that traditional economic indicators such as GDP and 40 hour work weeks alone do not, and cannot, quantify the human condition.
While higher incomes may improve people’s emotional wellbeing, they can only do so to a certain extent. In the United States, for example, Nobel Prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton found that after individuals make $75,000 annually, additional income will have little meaningful effect on how they experience their lives.
‘Consider this finding in the context of Singapore, a country with one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest GDP per capita rates in the world, but a place where residents barely experience any positive emotions,’ said a spokesman.
‘This research shows that the solutions to improve positive emotions or decrease negative emotions do not necessarily go beyond higher incomes. Singapore leadership needs to consider strategies that lie outside of the traditional confines of classic economics and would be well advised to include wellbeing in its overall strategies if it is going to further improve the lives of its citizens,’ he added.