ERIC Number: EJ853451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Population Measures of Subjective Wellbeing: How Useful Are They?
Social Indicators Research, v94 n1 p1-12 Oct 2009
This article focuses on the contributions and, importantly, the limitations of subjective wellbeing (happiness/satisfaction) measures as indicators of broad population wellbeing and societal functioning. The popular practice of comparing happiness among countries gives a skewed view of how well their people are faring. Charting trends over time in happiness and mental health gives contradictory pictures of population wellbeing; even the responses to different questions within the same survey can yield very different findings. Asking people about their own lives and about social conditions produces contrasting results. These issues challenge the orthodox model of human development, which places Western liberal democracies at its leading edge. According to an alternative, psychosocial-dynamics, model, some, at least, may be societies in decline. Reconciling these views is no simple matter.
Descriptors: Children, Psychological Patterns, Well Being, Social Indicators, Measures (Individuals), Mental Health, Trend Analysis, Surveys, Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A