Social Indicators Research

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–27 | Cite as

Happiness surveys: Some comparability issues and an exploratory survey based on just perceivable increments

  • Yew-Kwang Ng


Most questionnaires to obtain reports of happiness are primitive with the results obtained of low (interpersonal) comparability. This paper argues that happiness is intrinsically cardinally measurable and comparable though with many difficulties. Moreover, a sophisticated questionnaire was developed and used to obtain more accurate and interpersonally comparable reports of happiness based on the concept of just perceivable increments of pleasure/pain. Comparisons with the traditional questionnaire are also made (by the respondents) to show the superiority of the sophisticated questionnaire.

Key words

happiness welfare well-being interpersonal comparison cardinal utility 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yew-Kwang Ng
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityAustralia

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