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How do we measure well-being?

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https://theconversation.com/how-do-we-measure-well-being-70967

theconversation.com

How do we measure well-being?
Increasing well-being is generally accepted as one of the essential components of social progress. But which measure of well-being – if any – should we use ?

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Measuring happiness

Measuring happiness

According to psychologists, happiness and life satisfaction do not coincide. Life satisfaction requires individuals to take a step back to assess their lives while happiness mirror...

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Valuing well-being as satisfaction

Understanding well-being based on feelings of satisfaction, pleasure, or happiness has two problems.

  • The physical-condition neglect. Humans adapt to their circumstan...

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The capability approach to well being

This approach claims that both personal characteristics and social circumstances affect what people can achieve with a given amount of resources.

What really matters for we...

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The preference-based approach to well being

Preference-based perspective is the idea that people are better off when they themselves consider what is important.

Some people think hard work is necessary to have a ...

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Choosing how to approach well-being

Two Belgian economists show that different approaches to well-being can have practical consequences. Using average income, average life satisfaction, and average "equivalent income," ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Subjective well-being

This is the primary way Positive Psychology researchers have defined and measured people's happiness and well-being.

It's defined as your evaluations of your own life and your mo...

Subjective Well-Being components

It consists of 3 parts: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction.

Positive affect and negative affect are basically your emotions and moods, and life satisfaction refers to the evaluation of your life as a whole (how satisfied you are with your life, what you would change etc).

Measuring Subjective Well-Being

Tracking your own subjective well-being can be very powerful if you keep alongside a journal of your life's events. 

Keep it up for some time and you will see trends emerge. You'll also be able to adjust your activities in order to maximize positive affect and life satisfaction and minimize negative affect.

Human nature is more than biology

The level of happiness is part of our genetic makeup - we have a set level and cannot rise above or fall below it.

Some scientists envision the day that we can manipulate our happiness ge...

Quantifying happiness

Happiness has always been difficult to quantify because it is subjective, depending on if you have a short- or a long-term outlook on life. Recently, researchers have started to distinguish between two types of happiness: 

  • Hedonic happiness that provides a mental high;
  • Eudaimonic happiness, a sense of well-being which involves a life well-lived.

The staples of happiness

People will always be happy when they see their children prosper when they feel loved, secure, and well-fed.

But, this formula for happiness is so obvious that most people dismiss it. They would rather look for a secret ingredient. The answer is that there is no secret.

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A shift in measuring well-being

A shift in measuring well-being

People in societies such as ancient Greece, imperial China, Medieval Europe, and colonial America did not measure people's well-being in terms of monetary earnings or economic output.

Measuring well-being: people vs money

The turn toward financial statistics means that instead of considering how economic developments could meet our needs, it instead is to determine whether individuals are meeting the demand of the economy.

Until the 1850s, social measurement in 19th-century America was a collection of social indicators known as "moral statistics," which focused on the physical, social, spiritual, and mental conditions of the people. Human beings were at the center, not dollars and cents.

Measuring progress and prosperity

What led to the pricing of progress in the mid-19th century was capitalism.

Capitalism is not just the existence of markets. It is also capitalised investment, where elements of society and life - including natural resources, technological discoveries, works of art, urban spaces, educational institutions, and people - are changed or "capitalised" into income-generating assets that are valued by their ability to make money and yield future returns.

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