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ERIC Number: EJ818573
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0303-8300
Can We Compare Life Satisfaction between Nationalities? Evaluating Actual and Imagined Situations
Bolle, Friedel; Kemp, Simon
Social Indicators Research, v90 n3 p397-408 Feb 2009
Do differences in reported life satisfaction between societies reflect real differences or do they reflect cultural differences in the way people rate their experiences? Study 1 showed that imagining better or worse life situations affected student respondents' ratings of their own life satisfaction, as predicted by range-frequency theory. Study 2 investigated how German and Polish students rated their actual life satisfaction and how satisfied they would be under three imagined scenarios. Study 3 similarly compared Danish and Hungarian students. Both studies found significant differences in the rating of the hypothetical situations, and moderate correlations between ratings of satisfaction in the hypothetical situations and reality, but in neither study were national differences in actual satisfaction predicted by differences in hypothetical satisfaction. Overall, the results suggest that national differences in rated life satisfaction are real rather than reflecting differences in how satisfaction is rated.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark; Germany; Hungary; Poland