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How do we measure well-being?

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 mirrors positive and negative emotions that fluctuate.

Focusing on positive and negative emotions can lead to understanding well-being in a pleasure-based way. Happiness may be one of the elements in evaluating well-being but is not the only one.

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How do we measure well-being?

How do we measure well-being?

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

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

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 circumstances, meaning the poor and sick can still be relatively happy.
  • Valuation neglect. Valuing life is a reflective activity. It should not be reduced to feeling happy or unhappy.

We should then acknowledge that feeling well is not the only thing people care about.

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 well-being is what the person manages to do or to be. But well-being is more than that - it also includes freedom.

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 valuable life while others prefer family or going out with friends.

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," Danes are more satisfied than they are wealthy while France is the opposite.

For policy purposes, the different measures of well-being hint at the important issues involved in deciding which measure of well-being - if any - to select.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Describing Hope
Describing Hope

Hope is a positive cognitive state based on determination and planning to meet a goal successfully. It consists of three things:

  • Goals thinking
4 Types of Hope
  • Realistic hope: It is hope for an outcome that is reasonable and possible. For example, hope for ease from chronic pain, knowing that complete eradication is unrealistic.
  • Utopian hope: It is a collectively oriented hope that combined action can lead to a better future for everyone.
  • Chosen hope: Hope helps us live with a problematic present in an uncertain future. Choosing hope for the smallest range of goals is essential to control negative emotions.
  • Transcendent hope, or existential hope, is the hope that is not tied to a specific outcome, but a general hope that something good can happen.
Being Hopeful: Benefits
  • Hope correlates with high academic and athletic performance, greater physical and psychological well-being, better self-esteem, and increased relationships.
  • Hope can enhance well-being over time.
  • Hope results in the person viewing stressful situations as a challenge rather than a threat.
  • Hope can be seen as creating a buffer against chronic anxiety.
  • Hope is a motivational factor that sustains actions toward long-term goals.
  • Hope is positively related to overall life satisfaction.
  • Hope motivates individuals to maintain their positive involvement in life despite any limitations they may have.

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Human nature is more than biology
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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Peter Drucker
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Peter Drucker
Discover Your Values

Being able to achieve a success metric is hard, but knowing which metric to achieve is even more important. Discover what you value and choose your own metrics for success, otherwise, your environment will dictate it for you, which could be unfulfilling for you.

Work towards your own idea of success and don’t let “FOMO” make you feel like a failure because you’re not meeting someone else’s metrics for success.

Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker
“There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”

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