By Ruut Veenhoven (auth.)
This booklet is set the measure to which individuals enjoy lifestyles: in brief 'happiness'. It attempts to spot stipulations that want a favorable appreciation of existence. therefore it hopes to shed extra mild on a longstanding and exciting ques tion and, almost certainly, to lead makes an attempt to enhance the human lot. throughout the previous many years more and more investigations have handled this factor. hence there's now a large physique of knowledge. but it truly is relatively tricky to make experience of it. there's a clutter of theories, options and signs, and plenty of of the findings appear to be contradictory. This publication makes an attempt to carry a few order into the sphere. The learn attracts on a list of empirical investigations which concerned legitimate signs of happiness; 245 reports are concerned, which jointly yield a few 4000 observations: for the most half correlational ones. those effects are awarded in complete element within the concurrently released 'Databook of Happiness' (Veenhoven 1984). the current quantity distils conclusions from that wealth of information. It attempts to evaluate the truth worth of the findings and the measure to which correlations replicate the stipulations of happiness instead of the implications of it. It then makes an attempt to put the scattered findings in context. As such, this paintings isn't a regular research of literature on happiness.
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However, when the aspect of 'denial' was considered separately, significant differences did appear. Unfortunately the ratings of defensiveness were made by judges who knew about the subject's happiness statements. All in all the tendency of defensive people to exaggerate their happiness seems at best modest. 2. Non-verbal cues. Another way to check whether people who say they are happy really feel so, is to watch their non-verbal behavior: the joy in their face and the buoyancy reflected in their body posture and movements.
All measures indicative of a 'personal overall evaluation of life-as-awhole' clustered together in one core cluster. This clustering occurred despite the use of different rating-scales (some verbal, some graphic), different questions (differently framed and using different key words) and two different information sources (the respondent himself and ratings by the interviewer). Andrews & Withey performed this analysis on several data sets with similar results. This leaves no doubt that clear questions on happiness yield responses which differ consistently from responses to questions on closely related phenomena.
Finally it must be observed that the phenomenon called 'happiness' here is currently given other names as well. Terms like 'life-satisfaction', and 'psychological well-being' sometimes cover the same notion. 39 CHAPTER 3 CAN HAPPINESS BE MEASURED? Chapter two made clear that a person's happiness cannot be assessed on the basis of some external judgement of his living conditions or way of life: happiness is an essentially experiential matter. Hence we cannot infer happiness from directly observable matters such as 'wealth', 'health' or 'popularity'.
Conditions of Happiness by Ruut Veenhoven (auth.)