Angus Deaton has some new research that may help explain why political scientists are all neurotic:
According to Deaton’s analysis, the very act of thinking about politics makes Americans feel less happy and satisfied with their lives — an effect that’s almost as big as being unemployed.
“People appear to dislike politics and politicians so much that prompting them to think about them has a very large downward effect on their assessment of their own lives,” he writes. “The effect of asking the political questions on well-being is only a little less than the effect of someone becoming unemployed, so that to get the same effect on average well-being, three-quarters of the population would have to lose their jobs.”Welp, that explains a lot. Here's the paper (pdf).