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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter contributes a unique review of analyses from an extensive longitudinal research data set that challenge the widely accepted “hedonic treadmill” theories. Life goals, religious beliefs and practices, as well as activity choices and personality types are proposed to change subjective well-being in either a negative or positive direction for the long term. Based on its critique of set-point theory and the associated Easterlin paradox the chapter calls for a new theory that better explains both changes in well-being and its stability over time.

Keywords: subjective well-being, set-point theory, life goals, behavioral choices, German Socio-Economic Panel Survey

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