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Can digging make you happy? Archaeological excavations, happiness and heritage

Sayer, F (2015) Can digging make you happy? Archaeological excavations, happiness and heritage. Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, 7 (3). pp. 247-260. ISSN 1753-3015


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Current government agendas for investigating the “Gross National Happiness” have spurred private and commercial organizations to consider whether their work has the potential to influence peoples' happiness and sense of well-being. The role of archaeological projects has yet to be considered, despite the body of research pertaining to their wider social values. Methods: By combining quantitative methodological well-being measures offered by positive and negative affect schedule and modified visual analogue scale (MVAS), this research evaluates if it is possible to identify the role archaeological projects play in enhancing well-being. Results: The analysis of the quantitative data is used to assess whether it is possible to quantitatively identify and link changes in cultural values to involvements in heritage projects. Conclusions: This paper sets out a methodological framework for analysing heritage well-being, providing guidelines for future evaluations of the cultural value of heritage.

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