Sunday 6 November 2016

Strong social relationships and offline human connections are the key to happiness for Australians, according to findings from the Australian Psychological Society’s (APS) Compass for Life survey, released for Psychology Week (6-12 November).

Human connections took the top spot on Australia’s wellbeing scale, with the survey finding that people who connected with family, partner and/or children daily, those who caught up with colleagues socially as well as those who were connected into their communities in a variety of ways had higher wellbeing scores than those who didn’t.

The survey also found that adults reporting a high usage of social media, a platform designed to bring people closer together, reported significantly higher levels of  loneliness and negative emotions.

The APS Compass for Life survey - of 1,000 Australian adults and 518 adolescents (13-17) - is part ofa campaign that will help Australians measure and improve their happiness and wellbeing by promoting Ways to Thrive.

All Australians can visit to measure and improve their wellbeing.

Overall, the survey found Australians report a positive sense of wellbeing.  Other factors linked to a more satisfied life, according to the APS Compass for Life survey, include: getting a good night’s sleep; keeping active, engaging in relaxation and/or mindfulness activities and ‘living in the moment’, eating well and having a hobby and being open to new experiences, including travel and learning.

Older Australians aged 65+ have significantly higher levels of wellbeing and lower levels of loneliness and negative emotions than the rest of the population. People age 25-34 scored significantly higher on loneliness than adults 35 years and over.

The survey also found that although money and wealth are rated in the top three things that come to mind when Australians are asked what makes a good life, household income was unrelated to wellbeing.

APS Executive Director Professor Lyn Littlefield said, “The Compass for Life provides ideas on how we can improve our wellbeing and happiness.  We invite Australians to visit to find their own wellbeing score by taking our survey and find tips to help them thrive”

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Notes for editors: More findings and the full survey report can be found at

The Compass for Life survey was commissioned by the Australian Psychological Society and developed in collaboration with the Centre of Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne, and Roy Morgan Research.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact: Karen Coghlan on
0411 390  512 or Rebecca Matthews on 0435 896 444 or email:

About the Australian Psychological Society (APS)
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the leading organisation for psychologists in Australia representing over 22,000 members. - Measuring happiness and wellbeing The Australian Psychological Society is inviting Australians to visit to measure their wellbeing. The Compass uses a psychological tool– the PERMA-profiler -that measures the five key pillars which underpin psychological wellbeing: Positive emotion; Engagement; Relationships; Meaning and Accomplishment; along with negative emotions; physical health and loneliness. The aim is to prompt Australians to think about their wellbeing and find ways to thrive. 


Psychology Week

Psychology Week is an annual initiative of the Australian Psychological Society that aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help Australians lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives.

In 2016 the Australian Psychological Society (APS) has introduced the Compass for Life, a campaign that will help Australians measure and improve their happiness and wellbeing by promoting Ways to Thrive.