Social Indicators Research

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 1–46 | Cite as

Developments in satisfaction-research

  • Ruut Veenhoven


This paper reviews advances in the study of satisfaction in the context of Social Indicators Research. Five developments are considered: (1) changes in the conceptualization of satisfaction, (2) advances in the measurement of satisfaction, (3) growth of a significant body of comparative data on satisfaction, (4) the map of satisfaction that emerges from these developments, (5) resulting advances in understanding of the appraisal-process, and (6) developments in the use of the satisfaction concept in wider conceptions of welfare.


Comparative Data Social Indicator Significant Body Social Indicator Research Wide Conception 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allardt, E.: 1976, ‘Dimensions of welfare in a comparative Scandinavian study’, Acta Sociologica 19, pp. 227–239.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, F. M. and S. B.Withey: 1976, ‘Social Indicators of Well-Being: American's perceptions of quality of life’ (Plenum, New York).Google Scholar
  3. Argyle, M.: 1987, ‘The psychology of happiness’ (Methuen, London).Google Scholar
  4. Bellenbaum, A. (ed.): 1994, ‘Von guten Leben; Glücksvorstellungen in Hochkulturen’ (Academie Verlag, Berlin).Google Scholar
  5. Blanchflower, D. G. and R.Freeman, 1993, ‘The legacy of communist labor relations’, Haney paper 93-10 (Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA).Google Scholar
  6. Bless, H. and N.Schwarz: 1984, ‘Ist schlechte Stimmung die Ausnahme? Eine Meta-analyse von Stimmungsuntersuchungen’ (Paper, University of Heidelberg, Germany).Google Scholar
  7. Bradburn, N. and D.Caplovitz: 1965, ‘Reports on happiness; a pilot study in behavior related to mental health’ (Aldine Publishing, Chicago, USA).Google Scholar
  8. Brickman, P., D.Coates and R.Janoff-Bullman: 1978, ‘Lottery-winners and accident-victims: Is happiness relative?’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, pp. 917–927.Google Scholar
  9. Buchanan, W. and H.Cantril: 1953, ‘How nations see each other; a study in public opinion’ (University of Illinois Press, Urbana, USA).Google Scholar
  10. Cantril, H.: 1965, ‘The pattern of human concern’ (Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ).Google Scholar
  11. Cavan, R. S., E. W.Burgess, R. J.Havinghurst and H.Goldhammer: 1949, ‘Personal adjustment in old age’ (Science Research Associates, Chicago, USA).Google Scholar
  12. Chin-Hon-Foei, S.: 1989, ‘Life-satisfaction in the EC countries 1975–1984’, in R.Veenhoven (ed.), ‘Did the crisis really hurt? Effects of the 1980–82 economic recession on satisfaction, mental health and mortality’ (Universitaire Pers Rotterdam, The Netherlands), pp. 24–43.Google Scholar
  13. Clark, M. and B. G.Anderson: 1967, ‘Culture and aging: an anthropological study of older Americans’ (Thomas, Springfield, IL, USA).Google Scholar
  14. Diener, E.: 1984, ‘Subjective well-being’, Psychological Bulletin, 95, pp. 542–575.Google Scholar
  15. Diener, E., R. A.Emmons, R. J.Larsen and S.Griffin: 1985, ‘The satisfaction with life scale’, Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, pp. 71–75.Google Scholar
  16. Diener, E., E.Sandvik and W.Pavot: 1989, ‘Happiness is the frequency, not intensity of positive versus negative affect’, in F.Strack et al (eds.), ‘Subjective well-being; an interdisciplinary perspective’ (Pergamon, Oxford), pp. 119–140.Google Scholar
  17. Easterlin, R. A.: 1974, ‘Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence’, in P. A.David and W. R.Melvin (eds.), ‘Nations and households in economic growth’, (Academic Press, New York, USA), pp. 89–125.Google Scholar
  18. Eurobarometer: 1992, ‘Trends 1974–1991’ (Commission of the European Communities, Directorate of Information, Communication and Culture, Dpt. of Surveys, Research and Analyses, Brussels, Belgium).Google Scholar
  19. Gallup, G. H.: 1976, ‘Human needs and satisfactions; a global survey’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 40, pp. 459–467.Google Scholar
  20. Glatzer, W. and W.Zapf: 1984, ‘Lebensqualität in der Bundesrepublik’ (Campus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany), (English summary in Social Indicators Research 1987, 19, pp. 1–171).Google Scholar
  21. Habich, R. and T.Riede: 1989, ‘Satisfaction in West-Germany 1978–1988’, in R.Veenhoven (ed.), ‘Did the crisis really hurt? Effects of the 1980–1982 economic recession on satisfaction, mental health and mortality’ (Universitaire Pers Rotterdam, The Hague, The Netherlands), pp. 94–107.Google Scholar
  22. Harding, S. D.: 1985, ‘Values and the nature of psychological well-being’ in M.Abrams et al. (eds.), ‘Values and social change in Britain’, (McMillan, London, UK), pp. 227–252.Google Scholar
  23. Heady, B., R.Veenhoven and A.Wearing: 1991, ‘Top-down versus bottom-up theories of subjective well-being’, Social Indicators Research, 24, pp. 81–100.Google Scholar
  24. Heady, B. and A.Wearing: 1992, ‘Understanding happiness; a theory of subjective well-being’ (Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, Australia).Google Scholar
  25. Inglehart, R.: 1990, ‘Culture shift in advanced industrial society’ (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ).Google Scholar
  26. Inglehart, R.: 1994, ‘Codebook World Value Studies (ICPSR fiel 1660)’ (University of Michigan, ISR, AnnArbor, MI, USA).Google Scholar
  27. ICPSR (International Consortium for Political Science Research), ‘World Value Studies 1980–82, 1992–94’, File No. 6160.Google Scholar
  28. INSEE: 1993, ‘La Société Francaise: Données Sociales 1993’ (Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, Paris, France).Google Scholar
  29. ISR, Institute for Social Research: 1972, ‘Panel study of income dynamics, study design, procedures and available data’ (Survey Research Center, ISR, University of Michigan, USA).Google Scholar
  30. Ipsen, D.: 1978, ‘Das Konstruct Zufriedenheit’, Soziale Welt, 29, pp. 44–53.Google Scholar
  31. Kutner, B., D.Fanshel, A. M.Togo and T. S.Langner: 1956, ‘Five-hundred over sixty; a community survey on aging’ (Russel Sage Foundation, New York, USA).Google Scholar
  32. Landua, D.: 1992, ‘An attempt to classify satisfaction changes; methodological and content aspects of a longitudinal problem’, Social Indicators Research, 26, pp. 221–241.Google Scholar
  33. Michalos, A. C.: 1985, ‘Multiple discrepancies theory (MDT)’, Social Indicators Research, 16, pp. 347–413.Google Scholar
  34. Myers, D. G.: 1992, ‘The pursuit of happiness: Who is happy and why?’ (William Morrow, New York, USA).Google Scholar
  35. Neugarten, B. L., R. J.Havinghurst and S. S.Tobin: 1961, ‘The measurement of life-satisfaction’, Journal of Gerontology, 16, pp. 134–143.Google Scholar
  36. Noll, H. H.: 1994, ‘Zustand der offentliche Sicherhet beintrachtigt Wohlbefinden der Bürger’, ISI Bulletin, No. 12, pp. 5–8.Google Scholar
  37. Rodgers, W. L. and P. E.Converse: 1975, ‘Measures of perceived overall quality of life’, Social Indicators Research, 2, pp. 127–152.Google Scholar
  38. Ouweneel, P. and R.Veenhoven: 1991, ‘Cross-national differences in happiness: cultural bias or societal quality?’ in N.Bleichrodt and P.Drenth (eds.), ‘Contemporary issues in cross-cultural psychology’ (Swets and Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands), pp. 168–184.Google Scholar
  39. Palisi, B. J. and C.Canning: 1983, ‘Urbanism and social psychological well-being; a cross-cultural test of three theories’, The Sociological Quarterly, 24, pp. 527–534.Google Scholar
  40. Ruse, M.: 1986, ‘Evolutionary ethics: a phoenix arisen’, Zygon, 21, pp. 95–112.Google Scholar
  41. SBA: Statistisches Bundes Ambt: 1992, ‘Datenreport: Zahlen und Facten über die Bundesrepublik Deutschland’ (Wiesbaden, Germany).Google Scholar
  42. Saris, W. and R. Veenhoven (eds.): 1996, ‘Life-satisfaction in Europe, a multitrait-multimethod study in 10 countries’ (in preparation).Google Scholar
  43. Scherpenzeel, A.: 1995, ‘A question of quality; evaluating survey questions by multitrait-multimethod studies’, Doctoral dissertation, University of Amsterdam (KPN Research, Royal PTT, Leidschendam, The Netherlands).Google Scholar
  44. Schwarz, N., F.Strack, D.Kommer and D.Wagner: 1987, ‘Soccer, rooms and the quality of your life; Mood effects on the judgement of satisfaction with life in general and with specific domains’, European Journal of Social Psychology, 17, pp. 69–79.Google Scholar
  45. Schwarz, N. and F.Strack: 1991, ‘Evaluating one's life; a judgement model of subjective well-being’, in F.Strack et al. (eds.), ‘Subjective well-being, an interdisciplinary perspective’ (Pergamon, Oxford), pp. 27–48.Google Scholar
  46. Schwartz, S. H.: 1994, ‘Are there universal aspects in the structure and content of human values?’, Journal of Social Issues, 50, pp. 19–45.Google Scholar
  47. Sears, P. S. and A. H.Barbee: 1977, ‘Career and life-satisfactions among Terman gifted women’, in J. C.Stanley and W. C.George (eds.), ‘The gifted and the creative’ (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA), pp. 28–72.Google Scholar
  48. Smith, P. C., L. M.Kendall and C. L.Hulin: 1969, ‘The measurement of satisfaction in work and retirement’ (Rand-McNally, Chicago, USA).Google Scholar
  49. Trimp, R. and J.Winkels: 1989, ‘Evaluation of income trough the recession; EC countries 1972–1987’, in R.Veenhoven (ed.), ‘Did the crisis really hurt? Effects of the 1980–1982 economic recession on satisfaction, mental health and mortality’ (Universitaire Press Rotterdam, The Hague, The Netherlands), pp. 44–63.Google Scholar
  50. VanPraag, B. M. S., A.Kapteyn and F. G.VanHerwaarden: 1979, ‘The definition and measurement of social reference spaces’, Netherlands Journal of Sociology, 15, pp. 13–25.Google Scholar
  51. Veenhoven, R.: 1984, ‘Conditions of Happiness’ (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands).Google Scholar
  52. Veenhoven, R.: 1988, ‘The utility of happiness’, Social Indicators Research, 20, pp. 333–354.Google Scholar
  53. Veenhoven, R. (ed.): 1989a, ‘How harmful is happiness? Consequences of enjoying life or not’ (Universitaire Pers Rotterdam, The Hague, The Netherlands).Google Scholar
  54. Veenhoven, R.: 1989b, ‘National wealth and individual happiness’, in K. G.Grunert and F.Olander (eds.), ‘Understanding economic behavior’ (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands), pp. 9–32.Google Scholar
  55. Veenhoven, R.: 1991, ‘Is happiness relative?’, Social Indicators Research, 24, 1–34.Google Scholar
  56. Veenhoven, R.: 1992a, ‘Bibliography of happiness; 2472 contemporary studies on subjective appreciation of life’ (Risbo, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands). Updated electronic version on Internet: pub/database.happiness/biblio.zipGoogle Scholar
  57. Veenhoven, R.: 1992b, ‘Happiness in nations; subjective appreciation of life in 56 nations 1946–1992’ (Risbo, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands). Updated electronic version on Internet: pub/database. happiness/nations.zipGoogle Scholar
  58. Veenhoven, R.: 1994a, ‘Correlates of happiness; 7836 findings from 603 studies in 69 nations 1911–1994’ (Risbo, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands). Updated electronic version on Internet: pub/database.happiness/correlat.zipGoogle Scholar
  59. Veenhoven, R.: 1994b, ‘Is happiness a trait? Tests of the theory that a better society does not make people any happier’, Social Indicators Research, 32, pp. 101–160.Google Scholar
  60. Veenhoven, R.: 1995, ‘The cross-national pattern of happiness. Test of predictions implied in three theories of happiness’, Social Indicators Research, 34, pp. 33–68.Google Scholar
  61. Veenhoven, R.: 1996, ‘Cross-national differences in satisfaction’ in W. Saris and R. Veenhoven (eds.), ‘Life-satisfaction in Europe’, in preparation, ch. 13.Google Scholar
  62. Veenhoven, R. and P. Ouweneel: in preparation, ‘Equality in the welfare-state; dispersion of life-satisfaction and longevity in nations differing in state-welfare effort’ (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dpt. of Sociology, The Netherlands).Google Scholar
  63. Zapf, W.: 1994, ‘Allernative Pfade der gesellschaftliche Entwicklung, in W. Zapf, Modernisierung Wohlfahrtsentwicklung und Transformation, Sigma, 1994, Berlin, Germany, pp. 187–211.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruut Veenhoven
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations