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Are Scandinavians Happier than Asians? Issues in Comparing Nations on Subjective Well-Being

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Abstract

Subjective well-being (SWB) is defined as people's evaluations of their lives, and includes variables such as life satisfaction, the frequent experience of pleasant emotions, the infrequent experience of unpleasant emotions, satisfaction with domains such as marriage and work, and feelings of fulfillment and meaning. In this chapter we first describe the basic findings on levels of SWB in Asian versus nonAsian nations, as well as whether the causes of SWB are universal or vary across societies. We conclude that Asian nations show diverse levels of SWB, and that the low levels of SWB in certain of these countries occur for several reasons, such as cultural norms, poverty, and deteriorating economic conditions. We next discuss a few of the more technical and complex issues that are often raised in analyzing differences in SWB across cultures. We discuss whether SWB is a desirable characteristic, and what we know about the consequences of happiness. Several implications of the SWB findings for governance and economic policy are described.

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... In addition, it is questionable whether the dependent variable of subjective well-being can be compared across such a heterogeneous set of countries (Diener and Oishi, 2006) 4 . Therefore, this study regards a relatively homogeneous set of EU countries and uses country fixed effects in the regression analysis. ...
... 12 In addition, all regressions include time fixed effects ω t in order to control for common exogenous shocks, an intercept α, and country fixed effects µ c . Country fixed effects are included due to the available evidence that measures of subjective well-being are not internationally comparable (Diener and Oishi, 2006). In some of the regressions nonlinear relationships between government expenditures and life satisfaction are tested by means of interactions with institutional factors and a quadratic government expenditures term. ...
... Jämförelser med brytpunkter genererade från urval ur normalpopulationer visade dock att cirka 40 % av de närstående rapporterade symptom på överbelastning för vardera skalan. Det kan jämföras med rapporterad förekomst av denna typ av symptom i normalpopulationer som ligger runt 10 % [74,170,171]. Då det tidigare har förts fram att det kan vara tveksamt hur representativa urval ur normalpopulationer kan vara [172] bör resultaten som rör förekomst tolkas med en viss försiktighet och brytpunkterna inte användas som underlag för någon form av diagnos. Det är ändå rimligt att från dessa resultat på gruppnivå dra slutsatsen att de närståendes mentala hälsa var väsentligt påverkad i negativ riktning vid en tidpunkt inom fyra månader före patientens dödsfall. ...
... En majoritet av de närstående i föreliggande delarbeten var också kvinnor och kvinnliga närstående har visat sig rapportera mer nedstämdhet än manliga [66]. Då det är troligt att det inte bara finns individuella utan även kulturella skillnader i de källor på vilka vi grundar subjektiva värderingar av vårt liv behöver även hänsyn tas till kulturella skillnader [170] vid generaliseringar av resultaten. ...
... Yet, Asian Americans are among the very young migrants who our society is educating, debating about as students, and who have already changed the political landscape, from demands of state compensation for the 1992 Los Angeles unrest to immigrant workers' rights to post-9/11 due process to racial respect for NBA upstart Jeremy Lin. When considering these dynamics in relation to broader Asian American groupings, Korean ethnics in particular, we find that socioeconomic status (SES) does not necessarily converge with evaluations of academic success (Portner 1998;Diener and Oishi 2004;Oh 2008) or foster high self-esteem among the more class privileged (Kingsbury et al. 1981). As previous research hints at but does not fully investigate, students' ability to do well -e.g., earn A grades, high test scores, awards, college scholarships -might not necessarily mean that they are well (Bankston and Zhou 2002). ...
... Why are depression and lower levels of self-perception so common among a celebrated and envied group of "achievers" such as Korean Americans? To illustrate, Asian Americans as a group have reported being less happy and satisfied with themselves than white Americans do (Diener and Oishi 2004), and the students in particular have been found to have higher levels of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts as well (Kisch, Leion, and Silverman 2005). This paradox engendered our study's questions about the way these students themselves define academic success and whether or not they believe that they approximate such a definition. ...
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Previous studies have pursued whether there is an inverse relationship between levels of achievement and students' perceptions of their success. We find that these academic paradoxes exist but that they need to be analyzed in a manner that does not look only at structure or culture and that remaps what falls under both of these categories. Comparing in-depth interview data of middle-class Korean American and Mexican American college students who have realized a similar outcome, enrollment in a higher tier University of California school or rough equivalent, this study examines how the interplay of structural dimensions-class and ethnic factors such as social location and social capital-as well as cultural dimensions-ethnic expectations, reference groups, and emotional support-shapes the modes and mechanisms by which students feel "successful." Our study reveals that meaning-making processes influenced by this structural-cultural interplay yield paradoxical outcomes when analysts move beyond a single or objective focus on academic achievement. We conclude with a discussion of how scholarship on immigration, race/ethnicity, and education can move in this direction of complicating the definitions and measures of academic success.
... Yet, Asian Americans are among the very young migrants who our society is educating, debating about as students, and who have already changed the political landscape, from demands of state compensation for the 1992 Los Angeles unrest to immigrant workers' rights to post-9/11 due process to racial respect for NBA upstart Jeremy Lin. When considering these dynamics in relation to broader Asian American groupings, Korean ethnics in particular, we find that socioeconomic status (SES) does not necessarily converge with evaluations of academic success (Portner 1998;Diener and Oishi 2004;Oh 2008) or foster high self-esteem among the more class privileged (Kingsbury et al. 1981). As previous research hints at but does not fully investigate, students' ability to do well -e.g., earn A grades, high test scores, awards, college scholarships -might not necessarily mean that they are well (Bankston and Zhou 2002). ...
Chapter
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Drawing on previous studies that have identified an inverse relationship between a student’s academic achievement and sense of self-satisfaction we examine the finding in relation to second-generation Korean Americans. By way of in-depth interview data specifically of middle-class college students who attend the University of California system or comparable and better schools, this study examines how the group’s locations in social structures of class and race/ethnicity shape the modes by which they define “success.” Our study reveals the diverging patterns of how the interplay of structural and cultural dynamics, including emotions, redefine perceptions of success over time and produce unintended consequences. Notwithstanding the exceptions to these patterns or the complex layers within, the authors encourage scholars to move beyond a singular or objective focus on what constitutes academic “success” for groups of color.
... Nonetheless, we cannot say that the findings are valid for young adults in other countries. The existing literature suggests that young people's experiences of life satisfaction are embedded in specific sociocultural contexts (Diener & Oishi, 2004;Tov & Diener, 2009) and vary between nations with different levels of development (Diener et al., 2010). Therefore, the findings reported here need to be cross-validated in other national and cultural contexts. ...
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Much prior research relies on the idea that antipathy towards immigrants is primarily driven by natives’ perceptions of the threat that immigrants represent to their economic, cultural or national well-being. Yet little is known about whether subjective well-being affects attitudes toward immigrants. This study aimed to examine whether life satisfaction would foster tolerance towards immigrants over time via the indirect influence of political satisfaction and social trust. The sample comprised young native adults (N = 1352; M age = 22.72; SD = 3.1) in Sweden. The results revealed that young adults who were satisfied with important life domains were more likely to extend their satisfaction towards the political system, which consequently resulted in a generalised expectation of trustworthiness and a widening of their circles of trusted others. This then translates into more positive attitudes toward immigrants. The findings provide evidence that it is the causal relationship between political satisfaction and social trust (rather than social trust in itself) which promotes the positive impact of life satisfaction on tolerance towards immigrants. The study highlights that fostering political satisfaction and social trust may play an important role in shaping young people’s positive attitudes towards immigrants.
... The study of happiness and well-being is receiving increased attention in different fields, for example in psychology, among others. These works address issues such as the definition of these two concepts, the different ways there are to experience these states, and the evaluation of said constructs (see Diener & Oishi, 2004, 2006Diener et al., 1998;Lyubomirsky, 2008;Peterson, Park & Seligman, 2005;Peterson et al., 2007). Another important line of research it's focused on the concrete benefits of happiness, in this sense, some of the topics studied are its relationship with depression (Lomas et al., 2018), access to higher education (Nikolaev, 2018), transsexuality (Prunas et al., 2017), cross-cultural (Wang & Wong, 2014), societal welfare (Diego-Rosell et al., 2018), leisure (Newman et al., 2014), personality (Anglim & Grant, 2016;Morán et al., 2017) among others. ...
Article
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El estudio de la felicidad y el bienestar está recibiendo cada vez más atención en diferentes campos. Las investigaciones recientes sobre el bienestar se han centrado en profundizar en la concepción del individuo sobre la experiencia del bienestar. McMahan y Estes (2011a) crearon una escala que evalúa las concepciones legas del bienestar en base a cuatro dimensiones: la experiencia de placer, la evitación de la experiencia negativa, el autodesarrollo y la contribución a los demás. El objetivo de este estudio fue adaptar esta escala, Beliefs about Well-Being Scale (BWBS), a la población española. La muestra estuvo formada por 1.024 participantes de la población general con un intervalo de edad entre 17 y 87 años. El análisis factorial confirmatorio da como resultado una estructura de cuatro dimensiones, similar a la escala original, aunque en la adaptación de la escala los ítems disminuyen de 16 a 12. Los resultados del análisis de fiabilidad revelan índices similares a los de la escala original. Estos resultados confirman la validez de la Escala de Creencias sobre el Bienestar con población general en un contexto cultural diferente al del estudio original. Esto permitirá realizar estudios transculturales para analizar la influencia de la cultura en la percepción del bienestar The study of happiness and well-being is receiving increased attention in different fields. Recent research into well-being has focused on delving deeper into the individual’s conception about the experience of well-being. McMahan and Estes (2011a) created a scale that assesses lay conceptions of well-being (BWBS) based on four dimensions: the experience of pleasure, avoidance of negative experience, self-development and contribution to others. The goal of this study was to adapt this scale, the Beliefs about Well-Being Scale, to the Spanish population. The sample consisted of 1,024 participants from the general population ranging in age interval from 17 to 87 years old. The confirmatory factorial analysis results in a structure of four dimensions, similar to the original scale, although in the adaptation of the scale the items decrease from 16 to 12. The results of the reliability analysis reveal indexes similar to those of the original scale. These results confirm the validity of Beliefs about Well-Being Scale with general population in a cultural context different from the original study. This will allow cross-cultural studies to analyze the influence of culture in the perception of well-being.
... In addition, while there is growing evidence that food (in)security is related to qualityof-life proxies such as suicide attempts [10], well-being [11] and depression [12], previous studies largely overlook the question if food insecurity is among predictors of life satisfaction. Happiness or life satisfaction is a paramount human sentiment and most individuals appraise life satisfaction above financial assets [13]. This paper is aimed to fill in the existing empirical research gap by investigating the relationship between food security and life satisfaction using cross-country data. ...
Article
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The goal of this study is to explore the causal relationship between food (in)security and life satisfaction in a global setting. We explore this relationship using conventional ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and instrumental variable two-stage least squares (IV 2SLS) method. Using data from 105 countries over the period 2012–2019, we found that food insecurity is significantly and negatively related to life satisfaction. The results are robust even after controlling for GDP growth, government size, quality of political and legal institutions. In addition, by adopting natural disaster data, we show that food insecurity has causal negative effect on life satisfaction. In particular, a one standard deviation increase in instrumented food insecurity decreases life satisfaction by 0.8 points (slightly less than one standard deviation). The results remain robust for a series of tests. Future studies should extend our findings by exploring the role of food security in other measures of quality of life.
... People naturally want to be happy (Howell et al., 2016;King & Napa, 1998). Indeed, several studies have demonstrated that happiness is rated as one of the most important goals across countries and cultures (Diener & Oishi, 2004;King & Broyles, 1997;King & Napa, 1998). While people differ in their idiosyncratic beliefs about happiness, lay beliefs about happiness tend to concur quite strongly with the scientific definition of happiness, that is a high level of life satisfaction, and the frequent experience of positive and infrequent experience of negative affect (e.g., Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999;Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade, 2005). ...
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People make choices among different options for different reasons. We hypothesized that people will choose the options that they believe will make them happier and that this effect of anticipated happiness on decision-making will be moderated by style of thinking (i.e., intuitive or deliberative). In a two-phase online experiment, 15 pairs of options were randomly presented one at a time, and participants indicated the extent to which each option would contribute to their happiness (i.e. anticipated happiness of a choice option). One week later, participants were randomly assigned to make choices on similar pairs of options either by using deliberative thinking or intuitive thinking. Results of a linear mixed-effects model analysis revealed that anticipated happiness influenced choices significantly. However, this occurred independent of whether participants made the choice in a deliberative or in an intuitive mindset. The implications of these findings for understanding the association between decision-making and happiness are discussed.
... Diener and Oishi (2006) conducted a cross-cultural survey across 48 countries and found that the average importance rating for happiness was 8.03 on a 9-point scale. In these studies, subjective well-being was found to be more important than having good health, material wealth and a high income, and being physically attractive, successful and intelligent (Diener, 2003;Diener & Oishi, 2006). ...
Thesis
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Evidence suggests that the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative emotions is beneficial. However, recent research shows that direct cognitive attempts to change how we feel can be counterproductive in the long run. Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS) based interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), limit direct attempts to change emotional states, and focus instead, on activating value-consistent behaviours. However, most measures used by CBS researchers and practitioners still focus on emotional states and reductions in symptomology, which may misfocus the client. Therefore, this thesis seeks to develop a practical, reliable, and valid measure of valued activity that can be used to guide intervention. The Six Ways to Well-Being (6W-WeB) measures the following six behaviours that are theorised to promote well-being: connecting with others, challenging oneself, giving to others, engaging in physical activity, embracing the moment, and caring for oneself. In addition, the 6W-WeB assesses the frequency of, and autonomous versus controlled motivation for, each behaviour. Study 1 focuses on the initial validation of the 6W-WeB in a sample of American adults (N1 = 1800, 60.3% female, Age: M = 40.9, SD = 13.21). Study 2 replicates the factor structure in an independent, Australian adult sample (N2 = 855, 47.3% female, Age: M = 38.16, SD = 13.35), and extends the research by assessing the barriers and enablers of valued action. Study 3 further replicates the validity of the questionnaire in two adolescent samples (N3 = 518, 100% female, Age: M = 14.29, SD = 1.46 and N4 = 185, 51.38% female, Age: M = 19.56, SD = 0.72) and tests the associations of 6W-WeB with personality traits and variables theoretically linked to each of the six behaviour domains. Study 4 combines the previously mentioned samples to maximise statistical power and test the factor structure of the 6W-WeB as well as its measurement invariance across countries, age groups, genders, and levels of psychological distress. Results indicate that the factor structure of the 6W-WeB is best represented by a bifactor confirmatory factor analysis (bifactor CFA) model, which consists of three global factors, namely behaviour engagement, activity importance, and activity pressure, as well as the six behavioural domain factors. This model showed good fit to the data and the items showed adequate internal consistency in all samples. Further, the findings suggest that the subscales of the 6W-WeB are linked in expected ways to theoretically-relevant measures, and that the 6W-WeB can differentiate between individuals who meet criteria for high psychological distress and those who do not. Finally, participants’ qualitative responses provided information about the specific ways through which they engage in the six behaviour domains, and the kinds of barriers that get in the way of valued action. Overall, the results indicate that the 6W-WeB may offer treatment utility for CBS practitioners, as the 6W-WeB is consistent with the core message of CBS – engaging in valued action may enrich and benefit one’s life. The new questionnaire, developed and validated in this thesis, can help orient clients towards activating value-consistent behaviour and allow clinicians to gain a deeper understanding of what their clients care about and love doing.
... Koliko je traganje za srećom univerzalna karakteristika ljudi, ilustruju nalazi istraživanja koja pokazuje da u skoro svim kulturama u kojima su sprovođene studije, ljudi kao najvažniji cilj u životu navode postizanje sreće (Diener & Oishi, 2000). Takođe, većina ljudi kao najvažniju vrednost u životu navodi sreću (Diener & Oishi, 2004). Ove studije potvrđuju da ljudi kao osnovnu karakteristiku kvalitetnog života i mentalnog zdravlja ne vide neko neutralno stanje i odsustvo negativnih iskustava, već prisustvo prijatnih emocija i zadovoljstvo različitim domenima života. ...
Article
Subjektivno blagostanje predstavlja jedan od najistraživanijih konstrukata u okviru pozitivne psihologije i jedan od najvažnijih indikatora pozitivnog mentalnog zdravlja. Važan zadatak istraživanja u ovoj oblasti je unapređenje postojećih i konstrukcija novih mernih instrumenata za procenu subjektivnog blagostanja. U radu je predstavljen razvoj i validacija Kratke skale subjektivnog blagostanja (KSB). Skala se sastoji od osam stavki, koje imaju visoku internu konzistentnost (a=0,86). Analiza glavnih komponenti je pokazala da se skala sastoji od dve dimenzije - afektivne (Pozitivan afektivitet) i kognitivne (Pozitivan stav prema životu). Rezultati ukazuju da ove dve dimenzije predstavljaju različite aspekte subjektivnog blagostanja, ali da se u njihovoj osnovi nalazi opšti faktor subjektivnog blagostanja. U prilog konvergentne validnosti skale govore značajne pozitivne korelacije sa merama pozitivnog afekta, radosti i samouverenosti (SIAB-PANAS), kao i značajne negativne korelacije sa merama anksioznosti (STAI-T), depresivnosti (BDI-II) i negativnog afekta (SIAB-PANAS). U radu su date sugestije za buduća istraživanja, a takođe su prodiskutovane potencijalne prednosti skale, kao i mogućnosti primene u istraživačkoj i kliničkoj praksi.
... Toplumlar içinde iyi oluş, yalnızca politika yapıcılara vatandaşlarının yaşamları hakkında daha fazla bilgi vereceği için değil, aynı zamanda öznel iyi oluşun post-materyalist (maddiyat sonrası) çağda vatandaşlar için giderek daha önemli hale gelmesinden dolayı ölçülmelidir. Bireyler, "mutluluk"u en önemli yaşam hedefleri olarak sıralamaktadırlar(Diener ve Oishi, 2004), ancak, ulusal düzeyde, öznel iyi oluşun artması için gerekli koşulları sağlamada toplumsal ilerlemeyi ölçen mevcut bir ölçüt yoktur. Devletlerin halklarının ihtiyaçlarını karşılamak için gerekli olan tüm temel mal ve hizmetlere sahip olmadığı durumlarda ekonomik önlemler hayati öneme sahipken, günümüzün modern sanayileşmiş toplumlarında yaşayan insanların çoğu, ekonomik refahtan ziyade tatmin edici bir yaşam arayışına girme lüksüne sahiptir.Inglehart'ın (1981) ve diğerlerinin materyalist-sonrası değerlere materyalist olarak adlandırdığı şeyden bu kayma, vatandaşlar için yeni bir arzular dizisi ve daha da önemlisi, doğrudan gelir, GSYİH ve diğer ekonomik ve sosyal göstergelerle ölçülemeyen bir dizi hedefle sonuçlanmıştır. ...
Article
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Abstract: We provide a comprehensive review of the field of subjective well-being in terms of its societal and individual benefits, demographic correlates, theories of origin, and relationship to culture. Interventions to increase well-being are also presented as well as the argument that national accounts of well-being for public policy should be instituted and utilized, alongside economic and social indicators, to both reveal and improve the quality of life within nations. Keywords: Happiness, Life Satisfaction, Social Indicators, Subjective Well-Being
... Other social conditions such as the heritage and destination societies' levels of happiness, as well as the degree of receptiveness toward immigrants in the destination society, also account for variability in immigrants' well-being (Helliwell et al., 2018;Kogan, Shen, & Siegert, 2018). These factors are central to a society's "livability" and can affect individuals' well-being at the aggregate level, especially given that all individuals within a nation, including immigrants, are affected by these factors (Bartram, 2011;Diener & Oishi, 2000). In addition, the fact that most immigrants migrate toward more affluent countries (e.g., Canada, United States, Luxembourg, Finland), where national conditions are appraised as more favorable, might also partly explain why many immigrants report positive well-being in these countries. ...
Article
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The vast majority of immigration-focused research in psychology is rooted in deficit models that center on negative health outcomes (e.g., depression, acculturative stress, anxiety, substance use), resulting in a widely held assumption that immigrants are at greater risk for pathology and poor well-being compared to native-born individuals. Moreover, current political discourse often portrays immigrants as more crime-prone compared to native-born individuals. From a positive psychology perspective, we argue that, despite numerous migration-related challenges, many immigrant populations report positive patterns of psychological health. We also provide evidence that immigrants are, in fact, less prone to crime than their native-born counterparts. We conclude by discussing a number of contributing factors that account for positive immigrant well-being across the range of destination countries. Ultimately, the field should address questions regarding (a) immigrants’ strategies for coping with the challenges involved in adapting to new homelands and (b) asset-based questions regarding factors that make immigrants thrive during difficult life challenges.
... Most respondents in Western Europe mark 8 on the Likert scale, indicating slightly happier respondents. Although these differences between Japanese and European data are interesting, comparing SWB across nations should be done with caution and a consideration of cultural factors that may influence responses (Diener and Oishi, 2004). ...
Article
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For some time, individuals in multiple contexts have been moving from rural to urban areas for economic reasons. In recent years, however, young people in Japan have been increasingly turning to rural areas to embrace a slower, less-hectic lifestyle. Despite this interesting development, researchers have thus far failed to identify determinants of residents’ well-being in rural and urban areas in Japan. Moreover, recent empirical work has shown that stated happiness or subjective well-being (SWB) can serve as an empirical proxy for perceived utility. To expand upon this line of research, in this paper, I use SWB to gauge disparities between the Japanese rural and urban environments. In addition, I determine how natural capital and social capital affect SWB for both rural and urban residents. Results show that on average, rural residents report higher SWB than urban residents despite low average income. I also identify multiple factors other than household income that affect SWB; these relationships are particularly pronounced for rural residents. Finally, results demonstrate that residents that migrate from urban to rural areas reported high levels of SWB. Taken together, the results of this study provide new insight into rural values and the attractiveness of rural residency.
... A greater limitation may stem from our reliance on only college students; culture is defined not only by national/ethnic background, but also by educational/professional and other backgrounds. Occupational domains such as academia or business impose international cultural standards of their own and tend to substantially (but not totally) level the national/ethnic differences of those involved in these occupational domains (Diener & Oishi, 2004). Thus in the future it would be desirable to sample working adults in the two countries, not just students. ...
Article
In three cross-cultural studies we tested the premise that psychological freedom (aka autonomy) and personal responsibility are complementary rather than conflicting, and the further premise that freedom causes responsibility, rather than vice versa. In all studies, (a) supporting autonomy in an experimental context increased responsibility-taking after failure, whereas emphasizing responsibility did not; (b) measures of dispositional autonomy and dispositional responsibility were positively correlated; (c) and responsibility-taking was slightly lower in Russia, a country typically ranked lower in world freedom indices. Supporting a control sensitivity explanation of the socio-cultural differences, the last study found that Russians were inclined to take more responsibility than Americans, but only when it was requested (not demanded) by family/friends (but not by authorities or by strangers).
... well-being; personality processes; day reconstruction method Subjective well-being is a broad construct that reflects people's overall appraisals of the positivity of their lives, as well as the balance of their affective states (Diener, 1984). Attaining and sustaining well-being is deeply valued across the echelons of society-from individual persons (Diener & Oishi, 2004; Lucas & Diener, 2008) to national governments (Samuel, 2009;Stratton, 2010; University of Waterloo, 2011; US Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). One critical question, therefore, is the degree to which well-being is driven by transitory situational forces (e.g., that may be responsive to interventions), versus stable individual differences. ...
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Previous research suggests global assessments of cognitive well-being—life satisfaction—are relatively stable over time. Far fewer studies have examined the extent to which experiential measures of affective well-being—the moods/emotions people regularly experience—are stable, especially over extended periods of time. The present study used longitudinal data from a representative sample of Germans to investigate the long-term stability of different components of well-being. Participants provided global ratings of life satisfaction and affect, along with experiential measures of well-being up to 3 times over 2 years. Results indicated between one-third and one half of the variance in people’s daily affect was attributable to trait-like latent variables. Replicating meta-analytic findings, 50% of the variance in global measures of well-being was attributable to trait-like latent variables.
... According to this approach, the less the difference between the imagination of the person's wishes and successes, the more the life satisfaction approach will be. [32] The quality of life theory more supposes that the affective components of happiness are rooted to a large extent in our judgments or evaluations from life satisfaction and according to our cognition. Like cognitive theoreticians who adopt life satisfaction approach, in the theory of life quality, life satisfaction points to our mental evaluation from estimated degree of our most important needs, purposes, and wishes. ...
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Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of life quality training on happiness among Esfahan blind girls. Methods: Type study was quasi-experimental with a pretest, posttest, and follow-up with a control group. The community of this study consists of all the blind girl in the 1393 year that have formed in State Welfare Organization. The study sample was a convenience sample. The study sample consisted of 40 girls is blind that were selected and divided into two groups, experimental and control group randomly. Experimental group for 8 sessions have received training in the quality of life after treatment and at the end of both groups were assessed with posttest. Measurement instrument consist of Oxford Happiness Inventory questionnaire (Argaile and etc., 1989). Data were analyzed by SPSS 16 software and statistical analysis of variance with repeated measures. Results: The results showed that the effect of time and interaction time with the happiness variable is significant. In other words, the pretest session to pursue happiness level has increased. The follow of happiness posttest experimental group than the control group (P < 0/01). Conclusion: According to result, can improve the happiness in blind girls through life quality training.
... This may reflect that emotional stability has utility value across a wide gamut of developmental tasksincluding thriving in one's career, friendships, and family (e.g., Ozer & Benet-Martínez, 2006). Moreover, research suggests that people deeply value simply being happy per se (Diener & Oishi, 2004). Thus, the age-invariant priority of desires to become more emotionally stable may represent people's unquenchable desire to feel fewer negative emotions and more numerous positive ones. ...
Article
Research suggests most people want to change their personality traits. Existing studies have, however, almost exclusively examined college-aged samples. Thus, it remains unclear whether older adults also wish to change their personalities. In the present study, the authors sampled 6,800 adults, aged 18 to 70, and examined the associations between age and change goals. Results indicated change goals were slightly less prevalent among older adults. Moreover, older adults expressed desires for slightly smaller increases in each trait. Nevertheless, these effects were small, and a minimum of 78% of people of any age wanted to increase in each big five dimension. These findings have implications for understanding people’s attempts to change their traits—and personality development more broadly—across adulthood.
... To be sure, the present discussion focuses on SWB defined as " a broad category of phenomena that includes people's emotional responses, domain satisfactions, and global judgments of life satisfaction " (: 277). life filled with negative affect (cf.King and Napa 1998;Diener et al. 1998;Diener and Oishi 2004) ...
... The US-American Declaration of Independence put the pursuit of happiness as an unalienable human right and built the cornerstone for the development of the American Dream. Two hundred twenty-eight years later Diener and Oishi (2004) asked people around the world about the importance of different values. Happiness was ranked first in America and ranked fourth in Germany. ...
Article
A 3-month experimental online study examined the short-term and 1 month follow-up effects of regularly practicing one of two cognitive interventions on subjective well-being. Participants were 435 self-selected adults (366 female, 69 male, aged 18–63) randomly assigned to one of three conditions: writing about best possible selves in the future (n = 135), making gratitude lists (n = 150) or writing to-do-lists as a control condition (n = 150). The study was fully self-administered and exercise instructions were given in online videos. Repeated-measures MANOVA revealed that both interventions significantly increased subjective well-being in comparison to the control condition. Effect sizes for the different components of subjective well-being ranged from r = .09–.13 (η2 = .01–.02) for the 2 months intervention period. These effects were maintained until the 1-month follow-up. Enjoyment and interest regarding the exercise as indicators of perceived person-intervention-fit moderated the effect; participants of the happiness interventions who perceived a better fit showed greater increases in subjective well-being. These findings confirm previous research on these interventions and encourage further studies on online interventions, especially regarding possibilities to increase participants’ motivation and reduce dropout attrition.
... For example, happiness is valued five times more than wealth in judging what makes for a "good life" (King & Napa, 1998). A cross-cultural sample of college students rated happiness an 8 on an importance scale from 1 to 9, the highest of any value (Diener & Oishi, 2004). Happiness is also linked to success in important life domains such as friendship, health, and work performance (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). ...
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... Why are depression and lower levels of self-perception so common among a celebrated and envied group of "achievers" such as Korean Americans? To illustrate, Asian Americans as a group have reported being less happy and satisfied with themselves than white Americans do (Diener and Oishi 2004), and the students in particular have been found to have higher levels of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts as well (Kisch, Leion, and Silverman 2005). This paradox engendered our study's questions about the way these students themselves define academic success and whether or not they believe that they approximate such a definition. ...
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... For example, many publications of the past decade devoted to the dependence of the experience of happiness and subjective well-being on the material welfare (per capita GDP), based on the comparison of the data of international surveys, invariably reproduce one and the same pattern. 25 The chart that expresses the dependence of happiness on money is divided into two parts. The lower part of the chart (when GDP values are low) reveals a direct linear dependence of the level of subjective wellbeing on material welfare. ...
... An individual's self-evaluation is significant in the field of subjective wellbeing, because values such as health, strength and attraction can vary from one individual to another. Diener and Oishi (2004) found that being happy is more important than being healthy, having high income and being highly attractive. In the researches on the field (Gitmez & Morçöl, 1994;Lucas, Diener, & Suh, 1996;Bekhet, Zauszniewski, & Nakhla, 2008) there were found to be meaningful relations between happiness and life satisfaction. ...
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Chapter
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Laimės ekonomika tiria laimės jausmą lemiančius ar su šiuo jausmu susijusius ekonominius ir socialinius veiksnius. Jos atradimais norima informuoti ekonominės ir socialinės politikos sprendimus. Šiame straipsnyje neigiamas ekonominių laimės rodiklių pagrįstumas ir patikimumas. Nepagrįstumas kyla iš subjektyvios vertės teorijos – laimės negalima išreikšti kardinalia matavimo skale ir negalima agreguoti tarpasmeninio laimės jausmo. Iš laimės kaip subjektyvaus dalyko kyla ir laimės rodiklių nepatikimumas. Straipsnyje taip pat teigiama, kad ekonominių laimės matavimų rezultatų taikymas politiniuose sprendimuose vertintinas kaip nemoralus.
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Subjective well-being (SWB) is an extremely active area of research with about 170,000 articles and books published on the topic in the past 15 years. Methodological and theoretical advances have been notable in this period of time, with the increasing use of longitudinal and experimental designs allowing for a greater understanding of the predictors and outcomes that relate to SWB, along with the process that underlie these associations. In addition, theories about these processes have become more intricate, as findings reveal that many associations with SWB depend on people’s culture and values and the context in which they live. This review provides an overview of many major areas of research, including the measurement of SWB, the demographic and personality-based predictors of SWB, and process-oriented accounts of individual differences in SWB. In addition, because a major new focus in recent years has been the development of national accounts of subjective well-being, we also review attempts to use SWB measures to guide policy decisions.
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Happiness is defined as the subjective enjoyment of one’s life as a whole, also called ‘life-satisfaction.’ Two components of happiness are distinguished; an affective component (how well one feels most of the time) and a cognitive component (the degree to which one perceived to get what one wants from life). In this chapter, I present an overview of valid measures of these concepts, drawing on the ‘Collection of Happiness Measures’ of the ‘World Database of Happiness’. To date (2016), this collection includes more than two-thousand measures of happiness, mostly single direct questions. Links in this text lead to detail about these measures and the studies in which these have been used. In this chapter, I describe the differences and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
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In this study, we investigated how physical health moderates the effect of housework on the perceived well-being in a sample of middle-aged and older women living with a partner in Taiwan. Two main findings are identified: First, the health status of middle-aged and older women moderates the relationship between their sense of housework fairness and perceived happiness. Second, the health status of their spouse moderates the relationship between their housework performance and perceived happiness.
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This chapter reviews the history of QOL in medicine and mental health, presents one possible unifying theory based on research in Social Indicators Research, and then concludes with guidelines for how this theory or any other theory can be used to guide medical/mental health assessment and treatment planning for individual patients.
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The primary focus of national planning in a country surrounds the fulfillment of bigger or smaller needs for its citizens. Ideally, the policies undertaken will improve the well-being of the people. The primary focus, if shifted to economic development, can lead to a situation where the well-being of people takes a backseat while capital investment and infrastructural development merely spearhead economic growth with little concern for welfare.
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Subjective well-being is a broad area of scientific interest, which has been increasingly occupying the attention of researchers for the past thirty years. It refers to a general assessment of satisfaction with life, as well as emotional reactions and satisfaction with various aspects of life. Research on subjective well-being typically involves a scientific analysis of how people evaluate their life, both for the current situation, and for longer periods of time. The importance of subjective well-being research is illustrated by the data that indicates the advantages of experiencing positive emotions, such as fostering the quality of social relations, creativity, and psychological resources of the individual. This paper discusses the conceptual definition of subjective well-being, different theoretical perspectives and approaches, as well as the dominant topic in contemporary research.
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This study employs a qualitative research approach where focus groups (n = 11) with key stakeholders were used to understand how tourism investors view the concept of well-being in relation to tourism and the potential to use it as a tourism product resource. Findings validated by a wider group (n = 50) exposed the barriers and enablers of implementing well-being in this way. The potential for businesses and policymakers to transform these barriers into enablers was also identified. In addition, study findings were mapped onto a robust model extracted from the public health sector and applied in a tourism context using a systems theory approach. This further highlighted the potential offered to the fields of public health and tourism in the concept of well-being, and demonstrated the well-being value of tourism. Data from this research will aid tourism business practice and development by embedding a well-being philosophy for tourism destinations' strategies.
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There is a longstanding discussion on whether happiness is culturally relative or not. The available data suggest that all humans tend to assess how much they like their lives. The evaluation draws both on affective experience, which is linked to gratification of universal human needs and on cognitive comparison, which is framed by cultural standards of the good life. The overall appraisal seems to depend more on the former than on the latter source of information. Conditions for happiness appear to be quite similar across the world and so are the consequences of enjoying life or not. There is more cultural variation in the valuation of happiness and in beliefs about conditions for happiness. The greatest variation is found in how happy people are.
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An academic degree has been seen as a guarantee of a better and more satisfied life among the members of many societies. To investigate this, the aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between young adults' educational level and life satisfaction in order to measure the levels of general life satisfaction among Finnish young adults with an academic degree, and to clarify the way in which life satisfaction is constructed. This study also investigates whether the level and construction of life satisfaction is different between university-educated male and female participants. The data were gathered from a sample of a Finnish age cohort (born in 1968) in 2001 (N=192) via a questionnaire. The participants of this study consist of two subgroups included in the sample (i.e., men (N=18) and women (N=25) with academic degree). The results showed the level of life satisfaction among highly-educated Finnish young adults to be higher than that of young adults in general. In addition, when investigating the relationship between the level of education and the level of life satisfaction within the whole group of young adults (N=192), it was found that the educational level was related to life satisfaction of men but not of women. Two main factors underlying highly-educated young adults' life satisfaction were found to be marital status and satisfaction with one's working conditions. In addition, the groups of men and women varied in the importance of life satisfaction that they attached to intimate partnerships, friends and material factors. For female participants, factors such as marital satisfaction and experiences of violence in intimate relationships underpinned their life satisfaction. For men, the most important factor underpinning their life satisfaction was satisfaction with one's social relationships. In addition, the female participants had more difficulties in reconciliation of their working responsibilities, household duties and free time activities than male participants. This imbalance between these factors, in turn, diminished the level of female * Corresponding author: liisa.martikainen@humak.fi Liisa Martikainen 2 participant's life satisfaction. The results highlight the importance of a gender-sensitive and subgroup-specific perspective in life satisfaction research.
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The article argues that economic measures of happiness are invalid and unreliable. The invalidity is implied by the subjective theory of value: happiness cannot be measured in the cardinal scales of measurement and it cannot be intersubjectively aggregated. The unreliability also follows from the subjective nature of happiness. The article concludes that the application of happiness economics to inform policy decisions should be seen as immoral.
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Several theories of happiness hold that happiness will not change in the long run. This claim was tested using the time trend data available in the World Database of Happiness. Series of responses on identical survey questions on happiness were selected with intervals of at least 10 years between them, altogether 199 time series in 67 nations and 1,531 data points. Average happiness in a nation rose in 133 of these series and declined in 66. The ratio of 2.0 is statistically significant. The average yearly rise in happiness on a scale 0–10 is +0.016. At this growth rate, happiness will rise by about 1 point on this scale in 70 years.
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The rational pursuit of happiness requires knowledge of happiness and in particular answers to the following four questions: (1) Is greater happiness realistically possible? (2) If so, to what extent is that in our own hands? (3) How can we get happier? What things should be considered in the choices we make? (4) How does the pursuit of happiness fit with other things we value? Answers to these questions are not only sought by individuals who want to improve their personal life, they are also on the mind of managers concerned about the happiness of members of their organization and of governments aiming to promote greater happiness of a greater number of citizens. All these actors might make more informed choices if they could draw on a sound base of evidence. In this paper I take stock of the available evidence and the answers it holds for the four types of questions asked by the three kinds of actors. To do this, I use a large collection of research findings on happiness gathered in the World Database of Happiness, which serves as an online supplement to this paper. The data provide good answers to the questions 1 and 2, but fall short on the questions 3 and 4. Priorities for further research are indicated.
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The science of subjective well-being (SWB), including life satisfaction, happiness, and positive feelings, has grown rapidly over the last three decades, but no area has grown more rapidly than our understanding of international and cultural factors as they influence well-being. We now understand that there are some factors, such as extraversion and the meeting of psychosocial needs, that influence subjective well-being around the world, and we also know that there are influences on SWB that are much stronger in some cultures than in others. Importantly, even the structure of SWB—the components and their relationships—has universal and culture-specific aspects. For example, pride and aroused positive emotions differ across cultures in how desirable they are seen to be. We have learned that across culture, some factors, such as income, are more associated with life satisfaction, whereas other factors, such as social support, are more related to positive feelings. Thus, the happiest nations are those that are both wealthy and meet psychosocial needs, while the least happy are poor and do not meet these needs. There is strong evidence that national circumstances, not just individual circumstances, influence well-being. An important area for future research is to determine, across cultures, the outcomes of high well-being.
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In this chapter, I will make an attempt to sensitize the reader to the study of subjective aspects of quality of life (QOL) by addressing the philosophical foundations of QOL concepts such as happiness, positive and negative affect, emotional well-being, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, perceived QOL, psychological well-being, and eudaimonia. In doing so, definitions will be offered. I hope that these definitions will come to life when I describe example measures of these concepts.
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This article examines whether access to modern information technologies, in particular the Internet, has an impact on individual positionality—the degree to which subjective well-being is affected by concerns about relative status and material aspirations. We provide empirical evidence that positionality and Internet access are intertwined. Exploiting variation over time in a panel of European households, we find stated material aspirations to be significantly positively related to computer access in areas with advanced Internet infrastructure. Furthermore, we report cross-sectional evidence from the World Values Survey suggesting an indirect negative effect of Internet access on subjective well-being since people who regularly use the Internet as a source of information derive less satisfaction from their income. Together, the empirical findings highlight the importance of information sets for how individuals evaluate their own living conditions relative to others and suggest a vital role for informational globalization to affect positionality.
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There has been a tremendous growth in research related to happiness and well-being in recent years, and an influential stream of this research has concerned itself with international differences in happiness. Our goal here is to describe some of the reasons happiness research is important to organizational researchers for both theoretical and practical purposes. We also describe significant methodological issues that should be considered when assessing these relationships at the group level. Finally, we provide suggestions for future research that might productively integrate insights from the organizational literature into happiness studies.
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Being happy is associated not only with better health, higher earnings and a longer life, but also with a stable family upbringing, stable financial situation, employment, good health, freedom and personal values. Psychiatrists may increase their patients' happiness by promoting effective, evidence-based mental healthcare. Individuals may enhance their own happiness by optimising physical and mental health; recognising the importance of personal values and happy communities; and optimising their financial situation. Government may boost citizens' happiness by deepening democracy; providing effective healthcare; supporting evidence-based well-being initiatives in communities; and then leaving citizens to seek out personal happiness in their own way.
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Empirical research on happiness took off in the 1970s and accelerated after the emergence of positive psychology by 2000. Today this has resulted in some 23,000 research findings. In this article, I take stock of the findings on social conditions for happiness and distinguish between conditions at the macro level of society, the meso level of organisations and the micro level of individual conditions. A new review technique is applied, an online findings archive is used, in which research findings on happiness are described in a uniform way and sorted by subject. © 2015 International Union of Psychological Science.
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Morality, Greed and Insatiability The Skidelskys present a history of the moral status of greed and insatiability. Aristotle felt that the good life must be based on a good character and the possession of a limited number of necessary goods. He had no problems with the exchange of goods, but was afraid that buying property, with no purpose other than making a profit, would make human activities subordinate to greed and insatiability.Such reservations have been set aside, in particular by the development of economics. Nowadays economists consider the satisfaction of wants as the ultimate goal, whatever the character of those wants. They make no distinction between superficial wants and real needs, or between use- and exchange value. All of these notions have been replaced by the concept of ‘utility’. This is a purely descriptive concept, only indicating that people want something and not what they need or should want. Because of this theory there are no more countervailing arguments aga ...
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