Ecuadorians are the world’s most emotional people, according to Gallup’s 2017 Global Emotions Report. The same study ranks them sixth for having the most positive experiences.
In its second annual emotions survey, Gallup interviewed residents in 140 countries and found that those who live in Latin America dominate the charts in terms of positive experiences as well as emotional responses to issues.
There is a high correlation to overall emotionality and positive thinking, the study showed.
Gallup managing partner Jon Clifton said that marketers and social scientists are quickly realizing the importance of gauging people’s emotional feeling as as an indicator of future events and trends. “Some people argue that measuring sentiment provides soft data and only hard data, such as GDP and unemployment, really matter to a country’s future,” Clifton says. “Our survey results, however, serve as a caution against this thinking because of two words — behavioral economics. According to this field of study, only 30% of individual behavior is rational — the other 70% is emotional. And while organizations are starting to apply this concept at a microlevel, governments have been slow to do it at a macrolevel.”
Clifton adds: “The over-reliance on hard data might be why global leaders, economists and political scientists missed social upheavals like the Arab Spring, the Maidan Revolution or Brexit. Gallup’s data on the other 70% — or how people were feeling — told a different story in each of these places.”
In the Gallup survey, researchers asked such questions as: Did you feel well-rested yesterday? Were you treated with respect all day yesterday? Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday? Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?
Respondents were also asked about negative experience: Did you experience physical pain? Did you worry? Did you feel sadness? How about stress and anger?
The total responses to both positive and negative experience questions were used to compile the “Total Emotions” rankings, which researchers found correlated to the “Positive Experiences” rankings.
“What we discovered was that people who have a emotional response to issues, either positive or negative, have the best outlook on life,” Clifton said. “The key is that they feel and they care.”
Countries that ranked lowest for “positive experiences” were Yemen, Turkey, Iraq. Belarus, Georgia, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Haiti, and the Ukraine.
Countries that ranked lowest for “total emotions” were all members of the former Soviet Union, with Belarus coming in last. According to the report, those on the low end of the emotions scale reported the least positive or negative experiences. “In other words,” says Clifton, “they seemed to care very little about anything.”
For more information about the 2017 Gallup Emotions survey methodology and for more rankings, click here.