Students’ life satisfaction and the meaning of life

Saw this comic after I posted this blog entry but had to add it!

A philosopher I follow on Twitter tweeted this today:

Obviously, as a high school teacher, this caught my attention. Evans backed down a bit on his critique of secularism in another tweet but the question remains: ‘Why do British teens think life is meaningless?’ To be accurate, if I understand the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results (‘a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) the average life satisfaction of British teens (they survey 15-year-olds) is 6.16 of 10 (61.6%), so that means they’re more satisfied than not. But what alarmed the philosopher and the author of this article is a 0.81% drop in three years.

What of the United States? The average is better than the UK. Students in the US reported 6.75 of 10 (67.5%) but like the UK, the US dropped as well. We saw a drop of 0.60%. The UK, Japan, and the US showed the greatest drop in life satisfaction over the past three years.

What about ‘meaning and purpose’? The teens surveyed responded to three statements: (A) My life has clear meaning or purpose; (B) I have discovered a satisfactory meaning in life; (C) I have a clear sense of what gives meaning in my life. US teens had scores of 71/65/69. UK teens 57/52/58. The average? 68/62/66. (Panama’s 86/82/85 led the way.)

If you want to read more on their findings on this particular topic, see 11. Students’ life satisfaction and meaning in life. If you don’t have time, here’s there big take-aways:


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