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Psychological and Subjective Wellbeing: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators

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  • Emma Samman
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    Abstract

    This article sets out a proposal to measure psychological and subjective states of wellbeing in individual and household surveys. In particular, it proposes a short list 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 wellbeing: 1) meaning in life; 2) psychological wellbeing – following self-determination theory, this includes 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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    File URL: http://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/pdf/ophiwp/OPHIWP006.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series OPHI Working Papers with number ophiwp006.

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    Date of creation: May 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp006

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    Cited by:
    1. 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.
    2. John Ataguba & William M. Fonta & Hyacinth E. Ichoku, 2011. "The Determinants of Multidimensional Poverty in Nsukka, Nigeria," Working Papers PMMA 2011-13, PEP-PMMA.

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