Objective confirmation of subjective measures of human well-being : evidence from the USA
Oswald, Andrew J. and Wu, Stephen. (2010) Objective confirmation of subjective measures of human well-being : evidence from the USA. Science, Vol.327 (No.5965). pp. 576-579. ISSN 0036-8075Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1180606
A huge research literature, across the behavioral and social sciences, uses information on individuals' subjective well-being. These are responses to questions-asked by survey interviewers or medical personnel-such as, "How happy do you feel on a scale from 1 to 4?" Yet there is little scientific evidence that such data are meaningful. This study examines a 2005-2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System random sample of 1.3 million U. S. citizens. Life satisfaction in each U. S. state is measured. Across America, people's answers trace out the same pattern of quality of life as previously estimated, from solely nonsubjective data, in one branch of economics (so-called "compensating differentials" neoclassical theory, originally from Adam Smith). There is a state-by-state match (r = 0.6, P < 0.001) between subjective and objective well-being. This result has some potential to help to unify disciplines.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Science|
|Publisher:||American Association for the Advancement of Science|
|Official Date:||29 January 2010|
|Number of Pages:||4|
|Page Range:||pp. 576-579|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
|Funder:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
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