I need to hear an american native speaker reading this text for trancribing it into phonemes.
Research into happiness is always open to question. Do people, when asked, tell
the truth about whether or not they are happy? Isn’t it peculiar to tell a complete
stranger that you are miserable? Possibly. Nevertheless, people who fill in
questionnaires without giving their names show the same sort of results as those
in open interview. It might also be suggested that people do not know whether
they are happy or not. But if you believe that most people are aware of their own
emotional state and express it honestly when asked, the research makes some
It is interesting to note what does not necessarily make you happy. Class, wealth,
social position, intelligence and race are all poor indicators (although poverty is a
good indicator of unhappiness). Women are slightly happier than men, and older
people rather more satisfied, though less joyful, than younger people. But most
people are, or claim to be, happy. This is, surprisingly, the same for everyone.
Whatever situation people are in, whether they are prisoners or lottery winners,
roughly the same levels of happiness on average can be found. Most people score
six or seven on a scale of one to ten.
Marriage is a greater source of happiness than being single. 35 percent of married
men and 41.5 percent of married women claim to be very happy, whereas the
figures for single men and women are 18.5 percent and 25.5 percent. However,
having children is not the source of happiness many believe it to be. Survey after
survey shows that happiness levels begin to fall after the birth of a child, reaching
their lowest point in the teenage years and only returning to previous levels when
the children leave home. This is rather strange, since people keep on having
kids despite the clear evidence that having children makes you less happy. One
possible explanation is that there are things that people consider more valuable
than happiness, like a feeling of being worthwhile. Or maybe bad marriages stick
together because of children.