Canada ranks as 8th most emotional country, according to Gallup poll

Jordana Divon
Shine On
November 23, 2012

Get stuck in Toronto's rush hour traffic and you're likely to experience a range of powerful emotions.

Perhaps the full spectrum of road rage to the incalculable joy of finally getting home helped propel Canada to the eighth spot on a recent Gallup poll of the world's most emotional societies.

As CNN reports, the famous pollsters spent three years gathering data from over 150 countries by asking 1,000 residents from each place whether they experienced 10 different emotions each day: five positive ones and five negative ones.

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Questions included subjective queries like: were you treated with respect all day yesterday? Did you feel enjoyment? Stress? Anger? Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?

"Behavioral indicators such as positive and negative emotions are a vital measure of a society's wellbeing," writes Jon Clifton, director of the Gallup Government Group.

"Leaders worldwide are starting to incorporate such behavioral-based indicators into the metrics they use to evaluate their countries because they realize that traditional economic indicators such as GDP and 40-hour workweeks alone do not, and cannot, quantify the human condition."

To calculate where each country ranked on either side of the coin, Gallup compiled all the answers and averaged the percentage of people who said they felt something in their heart vicinity.

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The Philippines came out on top, with six in 10 participants admitting they experience many of those emotions on a daily basis.

Rounding out the top five were El Salvador, Bahrain, Oman and Colombia, no surprise considering Latin American countries were shown in a previous Gallup poll to "lead the world" when it comes to positive emotions.

Though Canada sits in the eighth spot on the list, a closer look at the results show that we share the same figure, around 54 per cent, with nine of the other countries — including Chile, Costa Rica and the U.S. — that comprise the top 15.

Singapore headed the most emotionless societies chart, with only 36 per cent of polled residents in the wealthy, orderly country admitting to daily emotions of any kind.

One of the main reasons, Clifton tells Bloomberg Businessweek, is that only two per cent of Singaporeans felt connected to their jobs. Compare that to a global average of 11 per cent.

Do suspect Canada's ranking is mostly accurate or have your personal experiences led you to believe otherwise?

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