Is Being Bad at Math Something to Be Happy About?
Creative types have a tendency to proudly admit their utter lack of math skills. For instance, when calculating the tip at brunch, I’ve often heard myself happily asking someone to check my numbers because simple arithmetic is befuddling for a writer like me! While finding delight in incompetence is a special brand of idiocy, there’s some data at The Atlantic that suggests being bad at math may actually mean you’re a happier person.
One interesting nugget in international student test scores released today by OECD is that the countries with the smartest students also reported the unhappiest kids. Korea, for example, boasts the best math scores in the world, but also has the least-happy students. Indonesia’s kids report being the world’s happiest students, but they produce the world’s second-lowest math scores.
Of course there’s the whole correlation vs. causation thing to consider…
Also, defining the “smartest” kids by their math scores is a little disheartening. But while I’d love to see how the figures stack-up regarding how creative aptitude influences happiness rates, I’ll let someone else do the math.