Professor Felicia A. Huppert

Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry
Fellow of the British Psychological Society
Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge

Felicia's principal research interest is well-being across the life course. Her work is unusual in that it brings together traditional approaches from cognitive psychology and neuropsychology with a population perspective derived from epidemiology. Working with outstanding colleagues in cognate disciplines (biomedical science, genetics, psychometrics, social science, economics and engineering) she has been able to integrate her work on both well-being and positive ageing with an understanding of underlying physiological mechanisms, gene-environment interactions, and the role of the social context.

Felicia is involved in major population studies including the NIA-funded English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). She was PI on a project to investigate the life-course antecedents of mid-life flourishing, which involves analysing data from of the longest-running British birth cohort study - a representative sample of those born in 1946 (

Practical applications of the research include:
  • Work with colleagues in the Engineering Design Centre and the Royal College of Art to develop guidelines for designers about good design of products and environments that enhance both functioning and well-being.
  • A study undertaken in collaboration with members of the Oncology and Psychiatry Departments involving well-being interventions for cancer patients in Addenbrooke's Hospital. A CD based on mindfulness meditation and visualization has been developed for this project, together with a specially designed diary to record positive experiences.
  • A trial undertaken with teachers in independent schools, on the effects of mindfulness meditation in teenagers. Weekly lessons were given in class and an MP3 file was provided for daily practice.
  • Felicia headed the consortium that has developed national indicators of well-being for Europe. This forms part of the European Social Survey (Round 3) which took place in 30 countries in 2006/2007. By evaluating subjective aspects of well-being the survey will supplement existing economic measures and provide an alternative way of assessing the effectiveness of government and social policy.
  • Felicia served as a Consultant on emotional well-being for the US National Institutes of Health's Toolbox initiative.
  • Felicia was the lead well-being expert on the UK Government's Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing, the findings of which will be reported by the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser on October 22, 2008.
  • Felicia is a member of the ONS Advisory Forum on Measuring National Well-being.

  © Huppert for the Well-being Institute 2006-2008