CivicScience’s new Well-Being Index uses a series of emotional markers to develop an estimated percentage of the population who report, at any moment, how strongly they are feeling positive emotions (e.g., happy or excited) and not so strongly feeling negative emotions (e.g., sad, stressed, afraid, worried). Using this index, CivicScience has been able to gauge the emotional health of Americans during the pandemic, but also its changes over time and predictions for the future.

Well-being took a nosedive at the start of the pandemic plummeting to severe lows that took roughly 52 weeks to return to baseline pre-pandemic levels. After a promising summer, the Delta variant caused another drop in the Well-Being Index.

The monthly variation in well-being has shared a close relationship with COVID-19 cases. Dips in the index (meaning increases in anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions) frequently tracked with peaks in COVID-19 cases. 

Well-being is so connected to many variables like cultural events, specific demographics, and consumer spending habits that it is imperative for businesses to understand emotional health and its drivers. For example, higher well-being frequently correlates with higher consumer spending making it a satisfactory means of predicting future consumer spending. So, as America continues its economic and mental health recovery, forecasting will be particularly useful to prepare for the holidays and respond with agility should major events impact the index.

Watch the full webinar delivered by Brian Kurilla, Ph.D., Experimental Psychologist and Senior Account Strategist at CivicScience.