Gallup measured daily emotions in more than 150 countries by asking residents whether they experienced five positive and five negative emotions a lot the previous day. Negative emotions included: anger, stress, sadness, physical pain and worry. Positive emotions included: feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot, and learning or doing something interesting.
To measure the presence or absence of emotions, Gallup averaged the percentage of residents in each country who said they experienced each of the 10 positive and negative emotions.
Negative emotions were highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences. Latin America led the world in positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay and Venezuela at the top of that list.
Higher incomes might improve people's emotional well-being, but money can only do so to a certain extent. In the United States, Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton found after individuals made $75,000 annually, additional income had little meaningful effect on how they experienced their lives.
Singapore, a country with one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest GDP per capita rates in the world, is a place where residents barely experience any positive emotions, Gallup said.
Telephone and face-to-face interviews of 1,000 adults, age 15 and older, were conducted in each country each year between 2009 and 2011. The surveys have a margin of error of 0.4 percentage points to 3.8 percentage points.