A Woman's Perfect Day: Time with a Loved One

Nov 29, 2012 | Atlanta, GA

Ladies, what would your “perfect day” look like? According to a new study by Georgia Tech and Jacobs University in Germany, women prefer to spend the majority of their time – nearly two hours – on “intimate relations” and only 36 minutes on work. Sebastian Pokutta, assistant professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, co-authored the study that breaks down a woman's "perfect day" in minutes based on concepts of optimization to maximize happiness. He explains his findings and whether this “perfect day” could play out in the real world.

In today's world, one of the main objectives is to maximize economic output and professional performance. Well-being and happiness is most often considered to be an automatic consequence of economic welfare.

The aim of our study was to conduct a thought-experiment on what a happiness-optimized schedule might look like as compared to one that we are typically living in our day-to-day lives. We then compared the outcome of this thought experiment with the actual allocation of times to certain activities.

The study is not about telling people ‘this is how you should spend your time’. What we did was rather to look at respondents’ own statements and the activities they perform in order to calculate what a perfect day would look like based on their responses.

One of our goals is to foster discussion about how to combine subjective well-being and happiness with the requirements of today's life. We also believe that it will be more important to actively manage well-being and happiness and do not relegate it to being a corollary of professional success.

The paper, "Just a perfect day? Developing a happiness optimised day," was published in the October 16 edition of Journal of Economic Psychology.

This story was written by Liz Klipp and first appeared on November 28, 2012 in the Georgia Tech Amplifier.

  • Sebastian Pokutta
    Sebastian Pokutta

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