Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

Optimizing for Happiness in Personal Finance

Speaker: Leonid Ivonin
  University of Bristol, UK
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2016
Place: USI Lugano Campus, room SI-008, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)
Time: 10:30

 

Abstract:

One of the most fundamental instincts that people have is to be happy and to live a good life. There are many criteria for defining a good life but an important point is that an evaluation of one's life is a subjective process. Happiness has various components such as family, work, etc. One of the most controversial component of happiness is personal finance. Some people believe that money leads to happiness but recent data indicates that although money seems to be able to buy happiness, it buys much less than what most people think. Data showing a weak correlation between happiness and income presents a puzzle that is intriguing because money allows people to do what they want, live healthier lives, and spend leisure time with family and friends. The literature on emotional well-being indicates that people often fail to correctly anticipate the hedonic consequences of future events. As a result, individuals end up being not as happy as they thought they would be. This phenomenon also applies to the domain of personal finance where people make decisions leading to unsatisfying purchases. From the analysis of findings about happiness in behavior sciences, it is evident that now may be a good time to start exploiting this knowledge and attempt to design intelligent systems for managing personal finance. In this talk, we will discuss how the research project conducted at University of Bristol contributes to advancement of knowledge about happiness in the domain of personal finance and what could be the future of personal finance.

 

Biography:

Dr. Leonid Ivonin is a researcher at University of Bristol. He holds a prestigious individual Marie Curie fellowship and works on 'Optimizing for Happiness in Personal Finance' project that explores how technology could be developed to enable users track how money is spent to help take control of their personal finance, balancing income and expenses, and achieving financial goals through leveraging mobile, wearable and quantified-self systems to perform affective forecasting. He gained his PhD cum laude at the Designed Intelligence group at the Department of Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology, in which he developed a method to measure a person's unconscious emotions - highly relevant to understanding the user experience and patterns of behavior around financial products and services.

 

Host: Prof. Marc Langheinrich