Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Well-Being for Public Policy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ed Diener, Richard Lucas, Ulrich Schimmack, and John Helliwell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334074.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 August 2019

Defining Well-Being

Defining Well-Being

(p.8) Chapter 2 Defining Well-Being
Well-Being for Public Policy

Ed Diener

Richard E. Lucas

Ulrich Schimmack

John F. Helliwell

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the various definitions of well-being, and their advantages and disadvantages. Well-being is defined as an overall evaluation that an individual makes of his or her life in all its important aspects, and is often called “subjective well-being.” This definition is contrasted with objective evaluations, which require judgments that are independent of an individual’s values and desires. The definition of well-being advanced in this book is based on an individual’s own interests, needs, preferences, and desires, and is therefore similar to the concept of “utility” in economics. The well-being indicators advocated here include both people’s judgments of their lives and their emotions and moods. The differences in preference realization reflected in economic indicators and subjective reports of well-being are described, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are reviewed.

Keywords:   preferences, subjective evaluation, subjective well-being, utility, well-being

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .