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International Differences in Well-Being$
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Ed Diener, Daniel Kahneman, and John Helliwell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732739.001.0001

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Income’s Association with Judgments of Life Versus Feelings

Income’s Association with Judgments of Life Versus Feelings

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Income’s Association with Judgments of Life Versus Feelings
Source:
International Differences in Well-Being
Author(s):

Ed Diener

Daniel Kahneman

William Tov

Raksha Arora

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732739.003.0001

Evidence is presented that measures of subjective well-being vary along a dimension anchored at the two ends by evaluative judgments of life and experienced affect. A debate in recent decades has been focused on whether rising income increases the experience of well-being. This chapter found that Judgment is more strongly associated with income, and with long-term changes of national income. Measures of feelings showed lower correlations with income in cross-sectional analyses, and lower associations with long-term rising income. Furthermore, income showed very similar regression lines with the judgment of life at the two times of the surveys, suggesting that a common standard was used. Measures of concepts such as “Happiness” and “Life Satisfaction” appear to be saturated with varying mixtures of judgment and affect, and this is reflected in the degree to which they correlate with income. This chapter's findings are relevant to Easterlin’s hypotheses about income and well-being. Income and income change were associated with judgments of life and national increases in them, whereas the associations of income and feelings were less robust.

Keywords:   subjective well-being, income, life satisfaction, happiness, judgment, affect, international

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