Summarize Spoken Text – You will hear a short report. Write a summary for a fellow student who was not present. You should write 50-70 words.
You have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points presented in the report.
Note: This transcript is given for your reference purpose only. It will not be given in PTE Academic examination.
In the last 50 years there has been no apparent increase in personal happiness in Western nations, despite steadily growing economies. In both Europe and the USA surveys have found no greater level of happiness since the 1950s, which seems strange since wealthier people generally claim to be happier than poorer people.
In America, for example, more than a third of the richest group said they were ‘very happy’, while only half this number of the poorest made the same claim. Although it would be logical to expect that rising national wealth would lead to greater national happiness, this has not happened. Individually, more money does seem to increase happiness, but when everyone gets richer, no one appears to feel better.
Economists have recently paid more attention to studying happiness, instead of the more traditional GDP per person. One suggestion has been that people rapidly get used to improvements, and therefore devalue them. Central heating is a good example: whereas 30 years ago it was a luxury item, today it is standard in nearly every home.
The speaker argues that although Western economies have expanded since the 1950’s, there has been no parallel growth in happiness. Surveys indicate that rich people generally say they are happier than poor people, but it appears that although individuals may become happier society as a whole does not. One possible answer is that people soon become accustomed to improvements and so do not appreciate them.