ERIC Number: ED333316
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Life Satisfaction in Japan Vs. the U.S.A.: 1978-1990.
Levine, Robert; And Others
This study translated data reflecting life satisfaction from a large national Japanese survey into English. Perceptions of life satisfaction in Japan were compared to those in the United States. Data for U.S. subjects were taken from Gallup Polls in 1979, 1989, and 1990; Japanese data were based on personal interviews taken during the National Sample Polls conducted by the Cabinet Public Information Office in 1978 and 1990. U.S. respondents were much more likely to express satisfaction with their lives than Japanese respondents. U.S. subjects expressed significantly greater satisfaction with their housing, income, leisure, jobs, their lives as a whole, and had more optimistic views of their futures than did Japanese subjects. Given the downward trend of the U.S. economy compared to the relative stability of the Japanese economy, these are particularly interesting findings. However, one must be cautious when comparing personal ratings across cultures. Terms like "satisfaction" may have different meanings in the U.S. and Japan. Also, the difficulty in inferring private beliefs from public statements in Japan must be taken into account in the present results. It might be argued that the Japanese were simply attempting to present themselves as humble about their lives. It appears clear from the present data that personal satisfaction in Japan has not kept pace with the economic achievements of the nation. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Japan; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (71st, San Francisco, CA, April 25-28, 1991).