Ed Diener, a senior scientist with the Gallup Organization and a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, will present the talk “Using Measures of Happiness to Improve the Quality of Life in Societies” at 4 p.m. March 17 in Latham Ballroom at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

The talk is sponsored by the Departments of Psychology, part of the College of Science, and the Department of Marketing and Department of Management, both in the Pamplin College of Business. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

“It is truly an honor to have such a distinguished scientist visit Virginia Tech,” said Bob Stephens, department head of psychology. “Dr. Diener’s work is of relevance to so many disciplines, from political science to marketing and of course psychology.”

A distinguished professor emeritus of psychology, Diener worked at the University of Illinois from 1974 until 2008 and is now a senior scientist for the Washington, D.C.-based Gallup, where he serves as an adviser on psychological well-being. He also holds faculty positons in the departments of psychology at both the University of Virginia and University of Utah.

Among Diener’s honors and career efforts: He was president of three scientific societies and editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He also was founding editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science and a co-founder of Journal of Happiness Studies. He has more than 340 publications, with more than 100,000 citations. His awards include the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Career Award and the Association for Psychological Sciences’ William James Lifetime Achievement in Research Award.

Dieter’s research focuses on the personality and cultural influences on subjective well-being, as well as the effects of income on well-being. Among his recent work is the study of beneficial effects of subjective well-being on health, social relationships, productivity, and citizenship. Diener is well known for his 2000 proposal that nations establish national accounts of well-being. He has numerous publications explaining and defending the proposal, which is being adopted in a number of nations, according to his website at University of Illinois. 

Diener also co-edited three books on subjective well-being: Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology, Advances in Quality of Life Theory and Research, and Culture and Subjective Well-Being. He also co-wrote with his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, the book, Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.

Free parking is available at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Find more parking information online, or call 540-231-3200. If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Leanne Brownlee-Bowen at 540-231-7251 or email lbrownle@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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