Abstract and Keywords
The scientific study of happiness, or subjective well-being (SWB), has thus far produced a large body of diverse empirical findings. In this chapter the authors review some of the major findings and issues that have emerged from the study of SWB. Areas of focus for this survey include the definition and assessment of SWB, explanatory theories, research findings, and future issues and directions. Research findings that are examined include demographic correlates of SWB, relations between personality and SWB, and cultural influences. Evidence for the benefits of SWB in terms of improved health and increased longevity and positive outcomes in other life domains is reviewed. Future directions, such as the improvement of methodological rigor and the development of measures of SWB as social indicators of quality of life at the national level, are discussed.
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