University of Limerick
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Introduction to a culturally sensitive measure of well‑being: combining life satisfaction and interdependent happiness across 49 diferent cultures

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-16, 14:25 authored by Kuba Krys, Brian W. Haas, ERIC RAYMOND IGOUERIC RAYMOND IGOU, Aleksandra Kosiarczyk, Agata Kocimska‑Bortnowska, Anna Kwiatkowska

 How can one conclude that well-being is higher in country A than country B, when well-being is being measured according to the way people in country A think about well-being?  We address this issue by proposing a new culturally sensitive method to comparing societal levels of well-being. We support our reasoning with data on life satisfaction and interdependent happiness focusing on individual and family, collected mostly from students,  across forty-nine countries. We demonstrate that the relative idealization of the two types  of well-being varies across cultural contexts and are associated with culturally diferent models of selfhood. Furthermore, we show that rankings of societal well-being based on  life satisfaction tend to underestimate the contribution from interdependent happiness. We  introduce a new culturally sensitive method for calculating societal well-being, and examine its construct validity by testing for associations with the experience of emotions and  with individualism-collectivism. This new culturally sensitive approach represents a slight, yet important improvement in measuring well-being 



Journal of Happiness,



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  • Psychology