Referendums are supposed to make people happy. Why are even leave voters upset?
I write this column about happiness research from my home in Oxford, England, where the mood is worse than I have ever experienced. Like Scotland and Northern Ireland, and many cities in England and Wales, Oxford voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the European Union — by a margin of 40 percentage points. Even so, in social science theory, referendums are supposed to make people feel happier. But for reasons that go beyond political divisions, Brexit is making many Britons