Singapore goes from most "emotionless" to highest increase in "positive emotions": Gallup

Posed photo of a smile. Just a year ago, Singapore was ranked the world's most emotionless society by a Gallup survey. But now, it has now been singled out as the country which has recorded the biggest surge in "positive emotions" in the latest editi
Posed photo of a smile. Just a year ago, Singapore was ranked the world's most emotionless society by a Gallup survey. But now, it has now been singled out as the country which has recorded the biggest surge in "positive emotions" in the latest edition of the same survey.  -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 

Just a year ago, Singapore was ranked the world's most emotionless society by a Gallup survey.

In a major turnaround, it has now been singled out as the country which has recorded the biggest surge in "positive emotions" in the latest edition of the same survey.

According to the findings released on Monday, 70 per cent of respondents here reported more positive emotions last year, compared to 46 per cent the year before - the biggest jump among the 143 countries and areas surveyed by the international polling firm.

That catapulted the Republic from the bottom of the table in the 2011 study to the top half of the "positive" league of nations. Gallup attributed the upswing in positive emotions to the "unprecedented attention" given to the 2011 study, which could have influenced how Singaporeans responded to the latest survey.

"The rise (in positive emotions) took place among all demographic groups, even as other societal measures remained steady," Gallup noted. "Perhaps the most significant contributing factor to the increase was the unprecedented attention leaders and the media gave the findings last year."

The survey polled about 1,000 people aged 15 and above from each of the 143 countries and areas in 2012. They were asked if they had felt five positive and five negative emotions the day before they were polled.

Questions included whether they felt well-rested and respected, if they laughed and smiled a lot, and if they had done or learnt something interesting. The "yes" results were then compiled into a Positive Experience Index score for each country.

Latin American nations Paraguay and Venezuela continued to top the index, while places like Syria and Iraq were ranked the lowest.