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Psychological and Subjective Well-being: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators

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  • Emma Samman

Abstract

This article sets out a proposal to measure psychological and subjective states of well-being in individual and household surveys. In particular, it proposes a shortlist of seven indicators, and a module containing the relevant questions needed to construct them. The indicators address both eudaimonic and hedonic criteria, and cover four aspects of well-being: (1) meaning in life; (2) relatedness, following self-determination theory; the three “basic psychological needs” of autonomy, competence and relatedness; (3) domain-specific and overall life satisfaction; and (4) happiness. The article recommends that further research explore the connections between these indicators, as well as their relationship with objective measures of disadvantage. While reaffirming that perceptual states should not be treated as aims of government policy, it is argued that they may provide a richer understanding of peoples' values and behavior—and therefore that further research on the subject could deepen our understanding of capability poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 459-486

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:35:y:2007:i:4:p:459-486

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Cited by:
  1. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  2. K.I H. Sanjeewanie & Nilakshi De Silva & Shivapragasam Shivakumaran, 2012. "Multi-Dimensional Poverty Among Samurdhi Welfare Recipients In Badulla District, Sri Lanka," Working Papers PMMA 2012-03, PEP-PMMA.
  3. John Ataguba & William M. Fonta & Hyacinth E. Ichoku, 2011. "The Determinants of Multidimensional Poverty in Nsukka, Nigeria," Working Papers PMMA 2011-13, PEP-PMMA.
  4. Leßmann, Ortrud, 2011. "Empirische Studien zum Capability Ansatz auf der Grundlage von Befragungen: Ein Überblick," UFZ Discussion Papers 4/2011, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
  5. Simona Šarotar Žižek & Matjaž Mulej & Sonja Treven, 2010. "Requisite Holism Of Individuals As A Precondition For The Humankind’S Way Out From The 2008- Crisis," Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iasi - Stiinte Economice, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 57, pages 399-419, november.
  6. Lea Cassar, 2010. "Revisiting Informality: Evidence from Employment Characteristics and Job Satisfaction in Chile," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp041, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  7. Andy Sumner & Rich Mallett, 2011. "Snakes and Ladders, Buffers and Passports: Rethinking Poverty, Vulnerability and Wellbeing," Working Papers 83, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  8. Eszter Siposné Nándori, 2011. "Subjective Poverty and Its Relation to Objective Poverty Concepts in Hungary," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 102(3), pages 537-556, July.
  9. Christian Nadjiarabeye BEASSOUM & Olivier BEGUY, 2012. "Pauvrete Des Capacites Au Tchad : Une Exploration Des Dimensions Manquantes Des Donnees Dans La Capitale N’Djamena," Working Papers PMMA 2011-17, PEP-PMMA.
  10. Juan De Pablos-Pons & Pilar Colás-Bravo & Teresa González-Ramírez & Carlos Camacho Martínez-Vara del Rey, 2013. "Teacher well-being and innovation with information and communication technologies; proposal for a structural model," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 2755-2767, August.
  11. Eszter Siposné Nándori, 2011. "Differences in the Characteristics of Impoverishment Between Northern Hungary and Southern Great Plain," Theory Methodology Practice (TMP), Faculty of Economics, University of Miskolc, vol. 7(01), pages 93-100.

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