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Importance is Not Unimportant: The Role of Importance Weighting in QOL Measures

  • Chang-Ming Hsieh


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    The effect of relative domain importance as a weighting mechanism in quality of life (QoL) measures has been a topic of debate for decades. Studies investigating the role of domain importance in QoL measures have produced mixed results. The mixed results may very well be the consequences of a limited choice of global satisfaction or QoL measures, measurements of domain satisfaction, measurements of domain importance and weighting approaches applied to date. This study investigated the effect of importance weighting without assigning any arbitrary weighting function of domain importance. A cluster analysis was first used to classify individuals into groups, based on their perceived importance of various life domains, and then the relationship between global life satisfaction measure and the composite of domain satisfaction scores between these groups was compared. Results of this study showed that the relationship between global life satisfaction and composite of satisfaction scores did not remain consistent for respondents with different importance rankings of major life domains, which suggested an important effect of domain importance in QoL measures. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (November)
    Pages: 267-278

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:109:y:2012:i:2:p:267-278
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    1. Chia-Huei Wu & Grace Yao, 2006. "Do We Need to Weight Item Satisfaction by Item Importance? A Perspective from Locke’s Range-Of-Affect Hypothesis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 79(3), pages 485-502, December.
    2. Lara Russell & Anita Hubley & Anita Palepu & Bruno Zumbo, 2006. "Does Weighting Capture What’s Important? Revisiting Subjective Importance Weighting with a Quality of Life Measure," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 141-167, 01.
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    5. Chia-huei Wu, 2008. "Examining the appropriateness of importance weighting on satisfaction score from range-of-affect hypothesis: hierarchical linear modeling for within-subject data," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 101-111, March.
    6. Chia-Huei Wu, 2008. "Can We Weight Satisfaction Score with Importance Ranks Across Life Domains?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 469-480, May.
    7. Chia-huei Wu & Grace Yao, 2007. "Importance has been Considered in Satisfaction Evaluation: an Experimental Examination of Locke’s Range-of-affect Hypothesis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 521-541, May.
    8. Skalli, Ali & Theodossiou, Ioannis & Vasileiou, Efi, 2008. "Jobs as Lancaster goods: Facets of job satisfaction and overall job satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1906-1920, October.
    9. Michael Hagerty & Robert Cummins & Abbott Ferriss & Kenneth Land & Alex Michalos & Mark Peterson & Andrew Sharpe & Joseph Sirgy & Joachim Vogel, 2001. "Quality of Life Indexes for National Policy: Review and Agenda for Research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-96, July.
    10. Arne Mastekaasa, 1984. "Multiplicative and additive models of job and life satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 141-163, February.
    11. Chang-ming Hsieh, 2003. "Counting Importance: The Case of Life Satisfaction and Relative Domain Importance," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 227-240, February.
    12. Chang-ming Hsieh, 2004. "To Weight or not to Weight: The Role of Domain Importance in Quality of Life Measurement," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 68(2), pages 163-174, September.
    13. Mariano Rojas, 2006. "Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: is it a simple relationship?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 467-497, November.
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