HAPPINESS is picking up a stray £10 note, according to the first study claiming to measure pleasure.
Scientists carried out tests on 80 volunteers whose brainwaves were recorded while they engaged in different activities.
From the readings, they produced a pleasure scale ranging from minus 100 to plus 100. A surprise £10 windfall generated the highest average score of 82.9. At the other end of the scale, listening to badly played violin emerged as one of the most unpleasant experiences, with a rating of minus 55.7.
Playing with puppies scored 67.5, eating chocolate 65, and looking at pictures of smiling babies 50.9. Off-putting images of rotten teeth or crying infants produced a score of minus 38.4.
Scientists at Birkbeck University in London measured activity in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain and correlated it with questionnaire answers.
The study was commissioned by chocolate brand Beyond Dark which – unsurprisingly – scored a high 65 on the pleasure scale.
Consultant psychologist Dr Funke Baffour said: “Creating a scale like this reminds us there are certain things we can control every day to significantly boost our levels of pleasure, helping us combat depressing times like ‘Blue Monday’.”