A while back I did wonder if it would be an interesting study to see whether stories with happy endings were more popular or not, so this is a really great study that’s been done and I appreciate the work that’s been put into it. It does make me wonder though at the complexity of what it means to be happy and the fact a hedonometer was used implies that it’s only measuring one kind of perceived success or happiness. So I’m intrigued by examples of stories where perhaps the protagonist gets what they’ve been striving for but by the end they still aren’t “happy” on a truer level, or the audience isn’t necessarily happy FOR the protagonist. It’s like a moral or spiritual story arc that perhaps runs alongside the hedonistic/emotional story arc and could even be an inverse of it.... for example in The Founder.... he gradually rises in position and power and material wealth by the end, in perpetuity.... but by the end of the film my personal feeling as regards the morality or spirit of the man, was, ‘what a low life’. So I feel that’s an example of SV1 material rise with a simultaneous inverse SV1 ‘moral’ or spiritual decline, for one way of putting it. The Big Year also has Owen Wilson playing a character going through an experience like that, where he comes out a winner in ’hedonistic’ measurable terms but a loser in moral or ’inner spirit’ terms. So it would be interesting if further studies could potentially include such complexities in character development/emotional arcs and to see which combination of hedonistic success vs. spiritual success arcs seem the most well received. My inclination is to think we do like to see justice done and so watching a morally void character “lose” spiritually even if he’s ”won” materially, scratches our itch to see some kind of justice done in the world.