Who's happy? According to Arthur C. Brooks, the jackpot goes to "married, religious, politically conservative people (with kids)" (self-reporting as happy at a rate of 52%) vs. "single, secular, liberal people without kids" (14%). Does this mean, Brooks asks, that conservatives are "simply inattentive to the misery of others," so that "conservatives are ignorant, and ignorance is bliss"? Brooks suggests a thought experiment in which data showed that liberals were happier, and conservatives questioned whether the explanation was that ignorant liberals "are unperturbed by the social welfare state’s monstrous threat to economic liberty." In any case, that's not what the data show.
The conclusion that conservatives are happier is one I've read before, but what was new here was data showing that extremists are happier than moderates. The happiness scale runs from sunny extreme conservatives (48% happy) to sort-of happy extreme liberals (35%) to glum moderates (26%). I guess that means people like certainty and are happier landing on a secure belief that many things deserve to be preserved in their traditional form.
H/t Maggie's Farm.